Expanding Grid Capacity with Energy Storage in Decorah, Iowa

Thursday, July 30, 2020 @ 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET

A new 2.5 MW battery storage project in Decorah, Iowa will boost the capacity of the local electric grid to allow for the addition of more rooftop solar in the community. The project is supported through funding from US DOE Office of Electricity and a state grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and is receiving technical support from Sandia National Laboratories. It is being developed by utility Alliant Energy.

At present, one circuit on Decorah’s grid does not have sufficient capacity to allow for the addition of many new solar projects in development. Upgrading the grid through traditional poles-and-wires and substation expansions would be twice as expensive as this battery project, according to Alliant Energy. Thus, the battery project is expected not only to allow for increased solar integration, but also to produce distribution system investment savings. Additional potential benefits, such as peak demand shaving and other storage applications, will be tested as additional means to reduce customer cost.

Project data will be studied by Sandia as part of the lab’s national research project, and conclusions will inform future battery storage projects.

In this webinar, guest speakers described the project and answered questions from webinar participants.


  • Dr. Imre Gyuk, Director of Energy Storage Research, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Dan Borneo, Engineering Project Manager, Sandia National Laboratory
  • Lorraine Borowski, Mayor of Decorah, Iowa
  • Brian Selinger, Director – Energy Office, Iowa Economic Development Authority
  • Sarah Martz, Solutions Engineer, Alliant Energy
  • Anne Kimber, Director, Electric Power Research Center at Iowa State University
  • Todd Olinsky-Paul, Project Director, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)

This webinar was a presentation of the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP). ESTAP is a federal-state funding and information sharing project that aims to accelerate the deployment of electrical energy storage technologies in the U.S. ESTAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity, managed by Sandia National Laboratories, and administered by the Clean Energy States Alliance. Learn more at https://www.cesa.org/projects/energy-storage-technology-advancement-partnership/.