Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency approves contract for turbines, generators at Red Rock Hydroelectric Project
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s (WMMPA) Board of Directors, following a recommendation by the Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) Board of Directors, has approved an equipment contract relating to the construction of the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project (RRHP). Construction of RRHP will begin in 2013 at the Red Rock Dam along the Des Moines River near Pella, Iowa.
Voith Hydro, Inc., a Delaware corporation with principal offices in York, Penn., has been selected to supply turbines, generators, and other major powerhouse equipment for the project. Voith, a leading manufacturer of hydroelectric equipment, has installed more than 40,000 generators and turbines worldwide.
“RRHP will be designed to supply about 36 megawatts of power, but will be capable of generating up to 55 megawatts at certain times of the year when water is plentiful,” said MRES Director of Power Supply and Operations Ray Wahle. “Also, this will be dispatchable generation, which is rare for renewable projects these days.” Dispatchable generation is a source of electricity that can be turned on or off or adjusted by operators to meet electrical demand.
Construction of RRHP is slated to be completed in the spring of 2016, and the power plant should be ready for commercial operation in mid 2016. “This project will give MRES another generating resource in our on-going effort to diversify our renewable portfolio,” said MRES CEO Tom Heller.
RRHP will provide economic benefits of nearly $250 million to the four-county region in Iowa during the construction period. “Our economic analysis finds that the project will bring an average of 448 direct and indirect jobs to the area, ramping up to 732 jobs in 2014, and slowly decreasing until construction is completed,” Wahle said.
WMMPA will provide financing for the project. WMMPA is a joint-action agency made up of MRES members in the State of Minnesota. It has provided financing for all of the major generating and transmission facilities with which MRES serves its 61 member municipal electric systems in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
MRES has a power supply agreement with WMMPA obligating MRES to pay for and WMMPA to supply the entire output of WMMPA-owned facilities. MRES, in turn, has long-term power sales agreements with its members to supply them with wholesale power, energy, and transmission needed by the member utilities to serve their customers.
WMMPA acquired RRHP and the license to develop the project from CRD Hydroelectric LLC. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in early 2011, granted the license to CRD to develop the RRHP. Nelson Energy LLC had developed the FERC license under CRD and started the process in the spring of 2005.
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For more information, contact MRES Director of Member and Public Relations Bill Radio, phone: 605-338-4042; e-mail: email@example.com.