| Posted in: News Releases
Today, Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) celebrates the beginning of hydropower generation at the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project (RRHP) with a video dedication ceremony available on MRES’s website and social media channels.
Built on the Lake Red Rock dam near Pella, Iowa, RRHP will create a new purpose for an existing Army Corps of Engineers facility completed in 1969. Now Iowa’s second-largest hydropower generator, the retrofitted dam will harness the power of the Des Moines River to produce clean and renewable electricity for thousands of homes in MRES member communities across Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
RRHP is expected to produce more than 36 megawatts (MW) of electricity, and 55 MW during summer months when water levels are typically highest. Financing for the project was provided by MRES’s partner, Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA).
“Missouri River Energy Services is excited to expand our renewable energy portfolio through the completion of the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project,” said Tom Heller, president and CEO of MRES. “Red Rock Dam will provide renewable and affordable hydropower to thousands of homes and businesses in our member communities. Our partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C. and the Rock Island District can and should be a model for power providers to utilize existing infrastructure to generate needed clean, reliable electricity.”
“Hydropower is not only a non-carbon emitting renewable resource,” added Scott Hain, president of WMMPA, “but it also is a very cost-effective long-term resource using free moving water as fuel. The plant is expected to last about 100 years, making it an affordable and reliable resource for generations to come.”
Beyond retrofitting the dam to generate electricity, MRES made several other enhancements to Lake Red Rock. Visitors to the lake will have access to new picnic shelters, grills, restrooms and additional parking. There is also a new playground located at the South Tailwater Area. MRES extended an existing bike trail to provide more opportunities for cyclists. And, there is a new fish-cleaning station for the anglers who frequent Lake Red Rock to catch walleye, bass and other species of fish.
MRES was joined by several speakers for the video dedication ceremony, including:
· Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg
· U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
· U.S. Representative David Loebsack (D-Iowa)
· Don DeWaard, mayor of Pella, Iowa
· R.D. James, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works
· Malcolm Woolf, president and CEO, National Hydropower Association
· Stan Kocon, president and CEO, Voith Hydro
· Mario Finis, executive vice president, Stantec
· Tim Odell, executive vice president, Ames Construction
· Tim Welch, hydropower program manager, Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Technologies Office
· Joy Ditto, president and CEO, American Public Power Association
· Harold Schiebout, board chair, MRES
· Scott Hain, president, WMMPA
· Tom Heller, president and CEO, MRES
Remarks by all participants can be seen at www.mrenergy.com.
MRES broke ground on the project almost exactly six years ago with an event featuring then-Iowa Lieutenant Governor (now Governor) Kim Reynolds, Rep. Loebsack, then-Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, and others.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the great state of Iowa whose support was essential in getting this project off the ground,” said MRES Board Chair Harold Schiebout. “We are also very appreciative of the great working relationship we have enjoyed with the Army Corps of Engineers, from the permitting process through project completion.”
RRHP serves as a model for public-private partnerships to retrofit some of the estimated 80,000 dams in the U.S. that do not produce power. The project was included in the federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard, which was designed to speed the development of critical infrastructure projects across the U.S.