Alliant kicks off construction of 650-MW Marshalltown gas plant

Alliant Energy‘s (NYSE: LNT) Iowa utility, Interstate Power and Light, is ready to move dirt and sink steel after winning all necessary regulatory approvals and permits for the gas-fired Marshalltown Generating Station project.

Construction of the company’s approximate 650-MW combined-cycle Marshalltown plant is underway, Alliant said in a June 4 statement. The MGS, located in Marshalltown, Iowa, is expected to to begin commercial operation in the second quarter of 2017.

“Construction of MGS is a key part of our company’s long-term energy resource plan that further balances our energy supply while reducing emissions,” said John Larsen, Alliant Energy’s Senior Vice President of Generation.

In addition to issuing the notice to proceed with construction, the company also announced that KBR has been selected as the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

“KBR is a recognized world leader in the engineering, procurement and construction of large, complex projects,” added Larsen. “We are pleased to have KBR on board as a partner in this project as they construct a facility that will provide safe, efficient and reliable energy to our current and future generations of customers.”

In August 2012, Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility announced a multi-billion dollar, long-term energy resources plan to meet its customers future energy needs while further balancing its energy supply and reducing emissions. The plan included:

  • Investments to reduce emissions and increase efficiency of IPL’s existing coal-fired units;
  • Execution of a new long-term nuclear purchase power agreement to purchase 431 MW of capacity and energy from Duane Arnold Energy Center;
  • Construction of MGS;
  • Retirement of older and less efficient coal-fired stations; and
  • Continued commitment to renewable resources and energy efficiency.

“Today is a great day for our company, customers, the community of Marshalltown and the State of Iowa,” said Doug Kopp, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “The MGS project has significant economic development and long-term environmental benefits.”

IPL’s coal-fired units are divided into Tier 1, which are the priority units to keep in operation over the long term, and Tier 2, which are smaller, older units that will be kept around, if possible, with less costly emissions projects. In April 1 testimony filed at the Iowa Utilities Board, the utility said that the priority coal units, with their nameplate capacities, are:

  • Lansing Generating Station Unit 4, 260 MW, Tier 1, began operation in 1977;
  • Ottumwa Generating Station Unit 1 715 MW, Tier 1, 1981;
  • Burlington Generating Station Unit 1, 212 MW, Tier 2, 1968;
  • M.L. Kapp Generating Station Unit 2, 217 MW, Tier 2, 1967;
  • Prairie Creek Station Unit 1A, 16 MW, Tier 2, 1997;
  • Prairie Creek Station Unit 3, 44 MW, Tier 2, 1958; and
  • Prairie Creek Station Unit 4, 130 MW, Tier 2, 1967.

M.L. Kapp will be fuel switching to 100% natural gas in the second quarter of 2015. The unit currently has a capacity of 200 MW when running on coal. After the switch to natural gas, the unit will be limited to approximately 95 MW because of restricted fuel availability. In 2012, IPL switched the Sutherland Units 1 and 3 coal facilities to burning natural gas, as well.

Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light, utilizes the trade name of Alliant Energy. The utility is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and provides electric service to 525,000 customers and natural gas service to 233,000 customers in more than 700 communities.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.