A new power plant may be built in eastern Iowa by publicly rather than privately owned utilities. One hundred thirty seven of the state’s publicly owned municipal utilities are banding together and assessing whether Muscatine is the best place to build a new power plant. Jay Logel is general manager of Muscatine Power and Water, the state’s largest municipal power plant. He says one of the advantages of the new plant would be filling a void for electric generating capacity.Logel says a site inspection is underway to determine the possibility of building a new plant there.Logel says there are several advantages to building a new facility next to his coal-fired plant — there’s room and the infrastructure for transmitting the electricity’s already there. The Muscatine site has been operating since the early 1920s, and provides power to the Muscatine area.Logel says his plant, though, sells electricity all across the country. Iowa’s municipally owned utilities are asking a dozen engineering companies to submit proposals for a new power plant that would generate 600 megawatts — enough to power 180-thousand homes. MidAmerican has announced plans to build two new power plants in Iowa and Alliant is considering whether to build in Iowa. The actions come after Iowa legislators changed state law to make it easier, quicker and more attractive to build a power plant in Iowa.
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