Farm Energy Working Group

Promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy practices to meet the needs of Iowa's small to mid-sized farm operations

One Stop Shop: Webinars

(Sponsored by Farm Energy Working Group)

Iowa's Solar Energy Potential - The Basics

Presenter: Bill Haman, Iowa Energy Center (Dec. 18, 2013)

The presentation explores the potential for solar energy technology to contribute to the national and Iowa energy generation portfolios. The solar resources will be described as well as the engineering basics for solar photovoltaic technology. Technical and economic comparisons will be given to provide the audience with the necessary information for an understanding of how the technology can play a role in our energy generation systems. 

Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program

Presenter: Bill Haman, Iowa Energy Center (Dec. 11, 2013)

The Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program (AERLP) was created by the Iowa Legislature in 1996 (1997 Iowa Code: Section 476.46) to promote the development of renewable energy production facilities in the state.


The $5.9 million of AERLP funds were provided entirely through Iowa's investor-owned utilities and the Iowa Energy Center was chosen by the Legislature to manage the program. In 2009 as part of the I-JOBS bill, new funds totaling $5 million were added and the program received an additional $5 million in 2010.


The Energy Center has developed the AERLP in such a way that loans are given based on both the technical merit of a project and the financial qualifications of the applicant. The Energy Center provides loan funds equal to 50% of the total financed cost of a project (up to $1 million) at 0% interest. Matching financing for the project must be obtained from a lender of the applicant's choice. As these loans are repaid, the Energy Center's share of funds become available for loans to future projects. AERLP funds serve a balanced mix of technologies including solar, biomass, small hydro and small and large wind turbine facilities.

Learn about the Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program  (AERLP) and what it has to offer.


(Nov. 12, 2013)

Dave Roeser, a Mapleton, MN, gardener, will describe his family's indoor aquaponics vegetable gardening system that produces leafy vegetables plus trout and tilapia for fish markets. Plants such as lettuce, leafy veggies, and herbs are raised symbiotically. The fish provide fertilizer for the plants while the plants clean the water for the fish in a closed-loop system. A system of hollow, steamroller-sized cylinders with an axle of light down the center gives basil and other plants precisely the right amount of growing light while wasting precious few lumens and reducing the energy needed to light and grow the plants.    


Garden Fresh Farms recently won its division in the Minnesota Cup, an annual entrepreneurial event, and also won the Sustainability trophy for the Midwest Regional CleanTech Open that recognizes entrepreneurs that address urgent energy, environment and economic challenges.

Micro-loan and Other Loan Programs offered through the Farm Service Agency

(Feb. 21, 2013)

Brian Gossling presents on Iowa State Farm Service Agency's recently launched Microloan program. Microloans are designed for beginning and small farmers with traditional, niche and specialty operations. The loans are limited to $35,000 with the intent of requiring less paperwork and financial analysis than our traditional loan programs. The application process will be streamlined for the applicant and FSA and the program is designed to allow more flexibility, thereby allowing more operations an opportunity to use the program.

Iowa Energy Tax Credit - Solar and Geothermal

(Oct. 25, 2012)

Jim McNulty from the Iowa Department of Revenue explains Iowa's new Energy Tax Credit that started this year.


Solar Domestic Water Heating

(Mar. 29, 2012)

Jeff Benz with The Solar Consultants in Des Moines presents on Solar Domestic Water Heating. Jeff discusses the pros and cons of various systems. Click on the presentation below.



USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

REAP webinar provided through Farm Energy Working Group (Feb. 23, 2012)

Kate Sand with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development presented on USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Kate is currently the acting Business & Cooperative Program Director for Iowa. REAP provides grants, guaranteed loans, and combination grant/guaranteed loans to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. Click on the presentation below.