Powering with Water
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. According to the National Hydropower Association, hydropower accounts for 38% of all renewable energy generation in the United States. In the four-state region served by Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) members and other utilities, hydropower accounts for 5.2 million megawatt-hours (Mwh) of the region's electric generation.
All but two of our MRES members have allocations of hydroelectricity from Western Area Power Administration. These MRES members, on average, receive about 40 percent 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 megawatts (MW) of potential power generation. These units provide an average of 10 million 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 watch the video below to learn more about our six-year journey in building this hydroelectric plant.