The Iowa Utilities Board has approved rates for MidAmerican Energy’s proposed Council Bluffs electric plant. Board spokesman Rob Hillesland says the 2001 law approved by the legislature allows the board to set the rates before a company begins a plant to reward companies for making the investment.He says the primary objective was incentive to build more generating plants in Iowa, and he says this is the third time the board has used the new rules. Hillesland says utilities used to build the plants and then hope the board set a rate that would let them recover costs. He says the old system had the board going through a rate proceeding to see what costs would be passed on to customers and how the plant would be regulation. Hillesland says the old plan allowed for changes in the plan, but now the plan stays the same through the life of the plant. Hillesland says the board has approved a plan that will let MidAmerican recover 60-percent of the cost of building the plant.He says the board approved a plan that lets the company recover 675 million dollars of the cost of the plant. He says it also sets the company’s return on it’s investment at 12-point-two-nine percent . The plant is scheduled to be running by the summer of 2007.
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