October 24, 2014

$325 million upgrade for Ottumwa power plant

A $325 million project to reduce emissions from a south central Iowa electric plant was formally launched today.

The Ottumwa Generating Station is co-owned by Interstate Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, and by MidAmerican Energy. Governor Branstad was in Ottumwa for the “ceremonial groundbreaking” and he says up to 400 people will work on the three-year-long project.

“It’s a significant deal,” Branstad says.

New “scrubber” systems will be installed, reducing sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions by 90 percent according to utility officials.

“I would think you’re going to see a lot of the coal plants do that,” Branstad says. “You know, we need a portfolio that includes wind and coal and natural gas and nuclear. They’re all important and we need to have that diversity. I think that’s a good thing to make our state competitive and low cost.”

The chief executive of Alliant Energy says his company will invest more than a billion dollars over the next five years on its Iowa properties, including a new power plant in Marshalltown.