The chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board expects up to three new power plants to be built in Iowa as a result of a new law that speeds up the process for getting state regulators’ approval for the building site.Iowa Utilities Board chairman Alan Thoms can’t predict how soon construction might start on a new power plant, but he says a coal-fired plant and a natural gas-powered plant are in the works. Under the new law, Thoms and the other members of the Utilities Board will continue to review profit sheets and set the rates for electricity. He says the red tape in the process has been cut.Thoms says studies indicate Iowa will have an electricity deficit as soon as 2003 if no new power plants are built. He says the bill will go a long way in correcting the power needs of the state.The Legislature passed the power plant bill during last month’s special session and Governor Vilsack signed it into law yesterday.
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