Powering with Water

Hydropower ranks as the most common source of renewable energy used to generate electricity and accounts for nearly 7% of total U.S. electricity supply. According to the National Hydropower Association, hydropower accounts for 38% of all renewable energy generation in the United States.

All but two of our MRES members have allocations of hydroelectricity from Western Area Power Administration. These MRES members, on average, receive about 40% of their electricity from this clean hydroelectric resource.

Hydroelectricity produces no emissions or pollutants, and rain and snowfall replenish the resource. In fact, in the Missouri River Basin the same water can potentially generate electricity up to six times along its journey down the river. The six mainstem dams on the Missouri River — Fort Peck Dam at Fort Peck, Montana; Garrison Dam at Riverdale, North Dakota; Oahe Dam at Pierre, South Dakota; Big Bend Dam at Fort Thompson, South Dakota; and the Fort Randall and Gavins Point Dams in southern South Dakota — support 36 hydropower units with a combined plant capacity of 2,436 megawatts (MW) of potential power generation. These units provide an average of 10 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy per year.

Red Rock Hydroelectric Project

MRES built 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project was constructed and is operated by MRES, and financed and owned by the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA).

The design output of the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project (RRHP) is approximately 43.1 MW, but the project is capable of generating up to 55 MW at certain times of the year when water is plentiful. RRHP is the second-largest hydropower generating facility in the state of Iowa.

Please enjoy the video below to learn more about our six-year journey in building this hydroelectric plant.

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