Iowa Supreme Court to decide solar energy dispute

The Iowa Supreme Court is expected to rule in a dispute over the future of solar energy in Iowa.

The court expects to decide Friday whether solar energy companies can sell electricity directly to businesses and governments.

Regulated utility companies argue that such third-party purchase agreements are not legal under Iowa law, which gives them the exclusive right to sell to those customers.

A Dubuque company, Eagle Point Solar, argues it should be allowed to make those agreements.

The Iowa Utilities Board disagreed. A judge overturned that decision and ruled in favor of the company.

If Eagle Point wins the case, advocates say more cities and businesses would adopt solar energy.

But utilities and their regulators say rates would have to increase to make up for lost customers.