In 2011, Dubuque, Iowa decided to renew its focus on sustainability by installing solar panels atop its municipal services building. As a pioneer in this arena, Dubuque encountered a potential hurdle: the solar panel vendor found itself at odds with a state board, and the ensuing legal dispute eventually reached the Iowa Supreme Court. Two significant issues are at stake: first, determining what constitutes a public utility; second, resolving how solar energy can be developed in an environment in which utilities’ territories are protected. However and whenever this legal battle is ultimately resolved, its implications will likely reverberate across the county.
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