US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website

District Projects

Red Rock Hydroelectric Project

Published March 10, 2020

Des Moines River, Lake Red Rock, Pella, Marion Co., IA

Upon completion, the project will generate 36.39 MW of electricity, which will be transmitted to the power grid in Pella, Iowa, by a combination of underground and overhead transmission lines. The construction of this facility will require the penetration of the existing Corps dam impounding Red Rock Lake. Additionally a powerhouse will be constructed at the downstream toe of the dam.

This project is authorized and licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (FERC Project No. 12576) under the Federal Power Act. As part of the license agreement, the hydropower developer, Missouri River Energy Services, (MRES) was required to obtain USACE approval for the project under Section 408. This approval included technical reviews of the project design, review of the operating plan, review of the water quality protection monitoring plan, review of fishing access designs, review of the avian protection plan, review of the Indiana bat protection plan, cultural resources protection consultation, review of the hazmat spill emergency action plan, review of the system safety management plan, review of the emergency operations plan and general oversight of construction. The USACE review team included technical experts from the Rock Island District, Mississippi Valley Division, USACE Headquarters and USACE Risk Management Center. The USACE review occurred simultaneously with an Independent External Peer Review conducted by a team of experts from across the country. FERC technical experts also reviewed the proposed hydroelectric project.

The developer's Section 408 submittal was received on August 27, 2013 and the Rock Island District completed its review in October 2013. HQUSACE completed its review and the Director of Civil Works approved the Section 408 modification permit on March 7, 2014. The contractor, Ames Construction from Burnsville, Minnesota, began construction on August 4, 2014. Ms. Jo-Ellyn Darcy participated in the groundbreaking ceremony that was conducted on August 13, 2014.

The powerhouse and intake structure are constructed.  The powerhouse is substantially complete.  Ongoing work 

continues on excavating around the intake structure.  Dam penetration of penstocks #1 and #2 complete.  Ongoing work continues on completing the penstocks and final tie-ins to the dam.  Construction of the entire project is scheduled to be substantially completed in 4th quarter 2020.  A ribbon cutting has been tentatively scheduled for 19 August 2020.    

Additional Information

Congressional Interest

Senators: Charles Grassley (IA), Joni Ernst (IA)

Representatives: IA-2 (Dave Loebsack)

OM - Operations and Maintenance

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  N/A
Estimated Non-Federal Cost    $400,000,000
Estimated Total Project Cost  $400,000,000
Allocations Prior to  FY 2020 $4,008,829
FY 2020 Allocation  $500,000
FY 2020 Total Capability $500,000

Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2020:  MVR responsibilities include review of various submittals from MRES in support of the ongoing construction. MVR is providing administrative and technical overview and on-site quality assurance and construction observation.

The project will be completed in late FY 2020.  MVR responsibilities will include completing administrative overview and executing the Operating Memorandum of Agreement.