Alliant Energy has scheduled a informational meeting for Thursday in Marshalltown on a proposal by its subsidiary Interstate Power and Light Company to build a new 650-megawatt natural gas-burning electric plant in Marshall County.
Iowa Utilities Board spokesman, Rob Hillesland, says the meeting is one of the requirements to get the process moving forward.
“The primary purpose of that is for representatives from the utility to provide information about their proposed project to people who live in that area, and anyone from the public who is interested this. And also to answer their questions,” Hillesland says. The next step is the filing of the formal paperwork to seek approval from the I.U.B. to build the plant.
Hillesland says,”After that meeting is held, IPL would be able to file a petition with the I.U.B. asking for authority to proceed with building a natural gas-fired power plant.” The company then gets a chance to make its case on the need for the plant, and those who support or are against the idea can also register their concerns.
“The board would issue an order establishing a generating certificate request docket. And they would establish a procedural schedule, and then the I.U.B. would begin accepting formal public comments, and written comments and all of that,” Hillesland says.
He encourages anyone with interest to attend the meeting tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Regency Inn Best Western in Marshalltown. The new plant is part of an energy strategy Alliant announced in August that also includes spending some $430-million to upgrade existing coal fired plants.
Alliant said at the time the new plant is estimated to cost between 650 to $750-million and pending approval approval by regulators, construction could start sometime in 2014, with the plant to begin sending out power by the second quarter of 2017.