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Where Does "Plug-In" Power Come From in the Quad Cities?

motoverso electric car charging.jpg
Paul Hadley, FLICKR (https://flickr.com/photos/154073030@N05/42503815891/)
Hyundai IONIQ Electric Car Charging

For local environmentalists who want to buy a plug-in, electric vehicle, MidAmerican Energy has good news.

The utility that serves the Quad Cities has increased the percentage of renewable energy it uses to provide electricity to its customers, especially in Iowa.

Geoff Greenwood is MidAmerican's Media Relations Manager. I asked him, if a customer plugs in an electric vehicle, what's the source of the electricity that re-charges its battery? Of course, it's complicated. First, he says it depends whether you live in Illinois or Iowa. For Iowa customers, on an annualized basis (in 2021), 88.5% came from renewable energy, mostly wind.

IL Net Electricity Generation pie chart.png
Data is from the Energy Information Administration website, pie chart by Michelle O'Neill
Energy Information Administration, https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=IL#tabs-4
This chart shows the sources of power for electricity generated in the entire state of Illinois, April, 2022.

Illinois is deregulated and does not require the same data as Iowa. For example, Greenwood says in 2021, the mix of electric power MidAmerican delivered to its Illinois customers was 46% from coal, 17% from nuclear, and 37% was bought from other companies with unknown sources.

In any case, the sources of electric power must be diversified, year-round. So MidAmerican Energy continues to include coal and natural gas in its mix.

MidAmerican Energy 2021 Electricity Generation.png
Data from MidAmerican Energy, pie chart by Michelle O'Neill
MidAmerican Energy
Electricity generation source mix by MidAmerican Energy in 2021

Greenwood also says the power MidAmerican Energy generates is different from the power it supplies to customers (see pie chart on Right).

For electric vehicle owners, MidAmerican is building a network of plug-in stations, with charging times of 20- to 45-minutes. Its charging stations in Davenport are located at the Kwik Star in the 300 block of Kimberly Road, and Elmore Marketplace in the 4200 block near the Holiday Inn and Suites and mattress store. In Bettendorf, a charger is located at Twin Span Brewing near the TBK Sports Complex.

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor which really just means she wears many hats, doing everything there is to do in the newsroom and around the radio station. She's a multimedia journalist and serves as Assignment Editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, announcer, news anchor/host, and photographer. She also writes and produces content for WVIK.org and social media and trains interns.
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