Power plant could break ground this summer

After six more permits are acquired, the Alliant Energy power plant could start to break ground by the middle of summer.

Ryan Stensland and Kenn Vinson of Alliant Energy spoke to dozens of community members in the Fisher Community Center Friday to give an update on the project.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Vinson said. “Get out the gold shovel.”

The power plant will be located east of Quarry Road, between the Alliant Energy Operations Center and the current plant.

“You’ll see some surveying and different things going on out there,” Stensland said. “Until we get all of those permits, we aren’t going to be moving ground. The good news is we anticipate on getting the remaining six permits, including the air permit hopefully by the second half of this year.”

No contractor has been signed to the $700 million project. After the six permits are acquired, then will a contractor sign.

“I will let you put two and two together on this next statement,” Stensland said. “We have signed a notice to proceed with KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root). They are helping us with scheduling right now, helping us with some of the preliminary engineering work.”

In 2014, the primary work on the gas-fired power plant will be earth moving, grading and possible concrete or foundation work.

Starting the second half of this year until the first half of 2016, 250 to 350 construction workers will be on site.

“Those folks will need places to eat, places to sleep, places to do their shopping and those types of things,” Stensland said.

A condition of the agreement with the possible contractor is to use local services and organizations if at all possible.

“The message has been strongly sent to them that you need to buy local, buy statewide, then we can go from there,” Stensland said. “Will that be the case in every situation? No, but hopefully the majority of the time it will be, from what I understand.”

The contractor will hold a supplier diversity fair sometime in May. Vinson said to contact him if people want to sell products.

Stensland encourages anyone to be involved.

“Don’t be bashful,” Stensland said. “If you think you’ve got a project or a service that you can offer to the project, let Kenn or the contractor know.”

Tom Aller, president of Interstate Power and Light Company, couldn’t make the presentation, because the Marshalltown Municipal Airport was closed due to the weather.

“The community of Marshalltown stood by Alliant during the whole process of trying to build the (coal-fired) power plant,” Vinson said. “That project was canceled for various reasons and the community still stuck by Alliant. They are back here and it’s very, very, promising that this plant will be built. It’s the relationship, the confidence and trust the community has with Alliant Energy that is in my mind and probably Mr. Aller’s mind. It’s one of the most important things.”