Governor Chet Culver says state utility regulators made the appropriate decision in granting a construction permit for a new coal-fired electric plant in Marshalltown. "I’m very pleased that as a part of the agreement Alliant Energy will be expected to produce 25 percent of the energy from that plant from renewable sources," Culver says. "…They also will be required to double their wind generation capacity from 200 megawatts to 400 by 2013."
As part of its decision, the Iowa Utilities Board has directed Alliant Energy to increase its use of alternative energy sources one percent a year in each of the next 15 years. Alliant is the parent company of Interstate Power and Light, the business name that’ll be on the Marshalltown plant. "As I understand it, they have agreed to shut down some other coal-powered facilities in the state that perhaps aren’t as efficient, don’t have the technology related to the scrubbers, for example," Culver says. "So for those reasons I think it made sense, to me, that the Iowa Utilities Board required that type of commitment from them given our focus on renewable energy."
Alliant filed its construction request with state regulators in January of 2007. Earlier this year a series of public hearings were held in Marshalltown about the proposed plant. The Utilities Board deliberated for three hours Wednesday before voting two-to-one to approve construction of the coal-fired facility. "I am glad that we had a very open process, extensive discussion and debate about whether or not that plant should go in Marshalltown," Culver says.