Grow Solar Polk County and Urban Dreams Cut Ribbon on New Solar Array

Grow Solar Program Celebrates Two Years of Impact

Urban Dreams Executive Director cuts a ribbon
New Solar Array Ribbon Cutting Urban Dreams, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy in Iowa and the Grow Solar Polk County program, turned on a new solar array at their new location. © Jessica Maldonado

DES MOINES - Urban Dreams, along with Grow Solar Polk County program leaders and the West Side Chamber, cut the ribbon on a new solar array today at the Urban Dreams office Des Moines. The solar installation was made possible through the Grow Solar program and a $20,000 donation from The Nature Conservancy in Iowa.

Expected to save more than $3,200 a year in energy costs, the savings from the solar system will enable Urban Dreams to reinvest in its people, mission and programming as the organization works to break down barriers to success and uplift underserved and underrepresented people. Through provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, the Urban Dreams project is eligible to leverage the federal solar tax credit through the new direct-pay mechanism, helping to make the project more affordable.

“We are fortunate to have received such a generous gift from incredible partners Helping Us Help Others. Urban Dreams will benefit from the solar power generated on our roof, and the community will benefit from the resources we can save to give back to those in need,” stated Izaah Knox, Urban Dreams’ Executive Director.

The Grow Solar Polk County program, spanning 2022 and 2023, spurred 583.63 kW of solar power and led to $1,624,802 in local investment throughout the county. The initiative, reaching more than 500 local residents, emphasized solar education and volume purchasing to make solar more affordable for businesses and homeowners.

“The Nature Conservancy is proud to support this meaningful solar project at Urban Dreams, and to have been a partner of Grow Solar Polk County the past two years.” said Patrick Snell, Climate and External Affairs Associate at The Nature Conservancy in Iowa. “We thank Polk County and the cities that have supported the program. The impact will have a positive effect on our local communities for years to come, both in the form of local investment and the reduction of our collective carbon footprint.

The solar systems installed through the two years of the program will avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1,094,220 lbs. of CO2 every year.  That’s like avoiding 172 tons of waste or 21,484 trash bags recycled rather than landfilled.

Coordinated by The Nature Conservancy in Iowa, 1000 Friends of Iowa and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), Grow Solar worked with local partners including Polk County, the City of Clive, City of Granger, City of Elkhart, the City of Des Moines, City of Johnston, City of Urbandale, City of Pleasant Hill, City of Grimes, City of West Des Moines and City of Windsor Heights.

Ankeny-based 1 Source Solar was the selected solar installer for the program and helped bring the solar projects to fruition.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.