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Congressional candidate checks out solar energy company and projects

Miller-Meeks tours Fairfield plant then visits solar energy installations

Ideal Energy Founder Troy Van Beek talking to Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks about the Tesla batteries at Agri-Industrial Plastics in Fairfield.  (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)
Ideal Energy Founder Troy Van Beek talking to Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks about the Tesla batteries at Agri-Industrial Plastics in Fairfield. (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)
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FAIRFIELD — Mariannette Miller-Meeks visited Fairfield Saturday afternoon to learn about a solar power company operating there and the work they have done.

Ideal Energy hosted the group and talked about the work they do in the community as well as for the state.

Miller-Meeks, who is running in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, as well as members of the Iowa Conservative Energy Forum visited the business as part of Clean Energy Week.

One of the pieces of work they discussed was using solar panels to decrease a company’s electricity spikes. Ideal Energy Founder Troy Van Beek said many manufactures have to ramp up their equipment at different times throughout the day or week and have big spikes in energy usage.

The utility company has to be prepared to provide that much energy so the spikes set the cost of energy.

“But it may be only a small spike,” Van Beek said.

Their company can provide battery energy storage to produce its own energy and reduce consumption. The battery allows the business to set an energy usage and anything over the level is produced by the battery.

The group traveled to two different sites to show Miller-Meeks big projects they have done inside Fairfield — the solar panel field for Maharishi University of Management and the Tesla batteries at Agri-Industrial Plastics.

Miller-Meeks said she toured Ideal two years ago and said it is fascinating the improvements and the growth.

Miller-Meeks said the combination of the Tesla batteries with the solar panels at Agri-Industrial Plastics and shaving off the peaks will allow this to expand to other manufacturing companies.