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Red Rock Hydroelectric Project moves forward in Iowa

From the March 28, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 28, 2014

By Jeannine Anderson
The boards of directors of Missouri River Energy Services and the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency  have approved moving forward with the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project and have chosen Ames Construction, Inc., as the general contractor, MRES said yesterday.

The hydroelectric plant will be built at the existing Red Rock Dam along the Des Moines River near Pella, Iowa. With a nameplate capacity of 36.4 megawatts, it will be the second largest hydroelectric plant in the state, capable of meeting the electrical needs of about 18,000 homes. At certain times of the year, when water is plentiful, the plant will be capable of generating up to 55 megawatts of power, said MRES.

"Since we first announced our intentions to build the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project in 2011, we have been working our way through an intense, time-consuming regulatory process with state and federal agencies," said MRES CEO Tom Heller. 

Earlier this month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted the final two approvals needed before construction of the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project can begin. Those approvals were for the 408 process, which is designed to ensure that the project will not impact the Corps’ operations at Red Rock and that the project will be constructed safely; and for the 404 Permit, which covers dredge and fill for the project, MRES said.

MRES is an organization of 61 municipalities in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. WMMPA, which is made up of MRES members in the Minnesota, will provide financing for the project on behalf of MRES. 

Construction of the hydroelectric project could begin late this year and the plant could be ready for commercial operation in the second quarter of 2018, MRES said.


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