Alliant Energy sent a damage report to the Iowa Utilities Board today , detailing the cost of turning the power back on after two major winter storms. Alliant spokesman, Scott Drzycimski, says the report details a variety of work and repairs.
Drzycimski says they’ve spent about 70-million dollars, which includes the poles, lines, hardware and extra work spent in repairing transmission lines. Drzycimski says the figure is just an estimate, as the work continues today. Drzycimski says there are still some towers that aren’t back in place.
He says the hardest hit areas were in southeast Iowa near Burlington, and central Iowa near Marshalltown. Drzycimski says they’re still working on transmission lines in Marshall County from their Sutherland generating station, and near Ottumwa and Montezuma in southeast Iowa where steel towers came down. He says it will take several months to replace those steel towers.
Drzycimski says the effort to bring the system back to normal will take weeks. He say crews are still looking through the system to find areas where there may have been damage, but the power did not go out. The spring storm season is now upon us, and Drzycimski says they’re “slightly on edge” as they work to repair the damage from winter and keep an eye on possible spring trouble.
Drzycimski they understand that the system is weaker now than it was before the ice storm, and the lines that are still down provided redundancy in the system. He says that could lead to a higher number of outages in the spring and summer storm seasons. Drzycimski says they’ve told the utilities board they won’t ask for a rate increase to cover the cost of repairs.
Drzycimski says they had not plans to ask for a rate increase before the storm, and even after the storm they still don’t. He says they’ll look at a number of factors next year and determine if they’ll ask for a rate increase. Over 269-thousand Alliant customers lost power in the winter storms in late February and early March.