Missouri River Energy Services Officially Breaks Ground on Red Rock Hydroelectric Project

Published Aug. 13, 2014

PELLA, Iowa – The official groundbreaking of the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project (RRHP) took place Aug. 13 at Lake Red Rock near Pella, Iowa.

The project is a retrofit of an existing Army Corps of Engineers dam on the Des Moines River that will produce 36 megawatts of power, with the capacity to generate up to 55 megawatts during peak seasons; enough to power about 18,000 homes. Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) is building the project, which is being financed by Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA). RRHP is expected to be completed in 2018, at which point it will be the second-largest hydropower facility in Iowa.

The groundbreaking featured remarks from Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds; Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack, and Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy, among others.

“We are very excited about what this project means not only for the people of Pella and the surrounding areas, but our municipal customers across Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota,” said Tom Heller, Chief Executive Officer of MRES. “Through the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project, Missouri River Energy Services is adding renewable generation to our diverse energy portfolio while also creating jobs in the surrounding area.”

“It is great to be here to celebrate the construction of a reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable source of power for this community,” said Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy. “President Obama's plan to improve upon our permitting and review processes for infrastructure projects highlighted this Red Rock Hydroelectric plant. Today is a big step for this country's hydropower efforts.”

Economic analysis indicates that RRHP will provide economic benefits of more than $250 million to the four-county region in Iowa during the construction period, creating in excess of 300 direct and indirect jobs in the area during the four-year construction period.

“The people of Iowa are thrilled the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project is moving forward,” said Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. “This project is providing further proof that Iowa is leading the way in finding the energy solutions that will power our economic growth. I congratulate MRES and its members on this momentous occasion.”

RRHP has been included in the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard, which is designed to expedite the licensing process for critical infrastructure projects. The Red Rock Hydroelectric Project is the only hydropower project on the Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard.

 “Today’s groundbreaking continues Iowa’s leadership and represents a major step forward in bringing additional clean, renewable, and reliable energy to more Americans by utilizing existing structures on our water resources through hydropower,” said U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack, who represents the area in Congress. “Projects like the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project are major contributors to helping us meet our future energy needs – both in Iowa and across the United States.”

Voith Hydro was selected to provide the turbines and generators for the project, while MWH Americas is providing engineering services. Ames Construction is the general contractor. In addition to adding power generation to Red Rock Dam, MRES also has enhanced and improved recreational facilities in the area. These include new shelters, grills, playgrounds, parking spaces, a fishing-cleaning station, and a 1.25-mile expansion of the Volksweg Bike Trail.

For more information, please visit www.redrockhydroproject.com.

Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) is an organization of 61 member municipalities that own and operate their own electric distribution systems in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA) is composed of MRES members in the state of Minnesota.

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For more information, contact MRES Director of Member and Public Relations Bill Radio, phone: 605-338-4042;
e-mail: bill.radio@mrenergy.com.

Release no. 14-053