For the first time in two decades, Alliant Energy broke ground Monday for a new power plant in Iowa. The 400-million-dollar natural gas-fired “Power Iowa Energy Center” between Mason City and Clear Lake will produce enough energy to power 150-thousand Iowa homes. Joyce Hanes of Mason City sits on the Alliant Board of Directors. She thanked residents for their letters of support and encouragement and says that’s one of the reasons they put the plant in the area.Alliant vice president of engineering and environmental Dan Mineck says the power plant is significant for more than producing more power for Iowa. He says it will increase the tax base to pay for other needs in the community. And he says it represents the hope of new jobs.Mineck says power plants are a major key in economic development. He says without reliable energy, there’s little hope for development. He says Iowa and Cerro Gordo County understand the need for energy, while many communities do not.Alliant hopes to have the new plant on-line in 2004.
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