Hydroelectricity

Gavins Point Power Plant
All but two of our MRES members have allocations of hydroelectricity from Western Area Power Administration. These MRES members, on average, receive almost half of their electricity from this clean hydroelectric resource. In the Missouri Basin, the same water generates up to six times along its journey down the river. Hydroelectricity produces no emissions of pollutants, and rain and snowfall replenish the resource.

The six mainstem dams on the Missouri River support 36 hydropower units with a combined plant capacity of 2,436 MW of potential power generation. These units provide an average of 10 million megawatt-hours of energy per year.

Red Rock Hydro Project rendering

                                                 Artist's rendering of Red Rock Hydro Project

Red Rock Hydroelectric Project
In addition, MRES plans to build a hydroelectric generating facility at the Red Rock Reservoir on the Des Moines River. The Red Rock Dam is located about three miles southwest of Pella, Iowa, and is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The project will be constructed and operated by MRES, and financed and owned by Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA).

The design output of the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project (RRHP) will be approximately 36 MW, but the project will be capable of generating up to 55 MW at certains times of the year when water is plentiful.

MRES expects the project to become operational in 2018. When operational, RRHP will be the second largest hydropower generating facility in the State of Iowa.

For more information about RRHP, please review the RRHP brochure.

Hydropower ranks as the most common source of renewable energy used to generate electricity, and accounts for 6 percent of total U.S. electricity supply. In the four-state region served by MRES members and other utilities, hydropower accounts for 5.2 million megawatt-hours of the region's electric generation.