Pella Chronicle

Local News

March 27, 2014

Construction firm hired for hydropower project

Lake Red Rock — The hydroelectric power plant at Red Rock Dam is a go, Missouri River Energy Servcies sent this press release moments ago. We will follow up and have a full report in the April 4 Journal-Express. 

The Boards of Directors of Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) and Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA) have approved moving forward with the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project and have chosen Ames Construction, Inc., as the general contractor.

The hydroelectric plant will be built at the existing Red Rock Dam along the Des Moines River near Pella. With a nameplate capacity of 36.4 megawatts, it will be the second largest hydroelectric plant in the State of Iowa. It will be 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.

“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 (RRHP) 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 is an organization of 61 municipalities in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. WMMPA will provide financing for the project on behalf of MRES. WMMPA is made up of MRES members in the State of Minnesota and has provided financing for all of the major generating and transmission facilities that MRES uses to serve its member municipal electric systems.

Ames Construction Inc., is headquartered in Burnsville, Minn., and has offices in several locations throughout the Midwest, Western U.S., and Canada. 

Construction of RRHP could begin late this year and the plant could be ready for commercial operation in the second quarter of 2018. 

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