Construction begins on 36-MW hydro project in Iowa

Missouri River Energy Services, on behalf of the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a brief Aug. 5 notice that construction work has begun on a hydroelectric project.

“This letter serves to notify FERC that Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency has released its General Construction Contractor, Ames Construction, Inc., to start construction on the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project. The Project site has been closed to the public on August 4th and mobilization activities have begun.”

Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) and the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA) announced in March that they are moving forward with the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project and that they chose Ames Construction as the general contractor.

The hydro 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 MW, it will be the second largest hydroelectric plant in the state of Iowa. At certain times of the year, when water is plentiful, the plant will be capable of generating up to 55 MW.

“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 in a March 27 statement.

Earlier in March, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted the final two approvals needed before construction of the project can begin. The project could be ready for commercial operation in 2018.

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.