Marshalltown and all of Central Iowa received some bad news last week when local officials learned the much anticipated coal-fired power plant proposed two years ago by Alliant Energy will not be built here.
Tom Aller, the president of Interstate Power & Light, the company that owns Alliant Energy, came to Marshalltown to personally explain what went wrong to several community leaders who had worked so hard trying to make sure the $1.5 billion project went as originally planned.
Aller was complimentary of Marshalltown and its leaders but said there were multiple factors involved in the tough decision made to not go forward with the coal plant construction.
He cited several reasons for pulling the plug including the Utility Board's decision to lower the return on investment from 12.5 to 10.1 percent, the recent lawsuits filed and the uncertainty surrounding future taxes on carbon.
Aller did say there is a "Plan B" that does not involve coal but rather wind and natural gas or a combination of the two. He did not say Marshalltown would be the location of such a power plant but did say the city had several positives that would certainly put it on the list for consideration. The Plan B plant would generate about 300 mega-watts, according to Aller, or about half the size of the original proposed coal-fired facility.
The Times-Republican hopes our community leaders and officials seize this Plan B possibility and do everything possible to make it happen in Marshalltown.
Marshalltown has had more than a half-century relationship with this company. Alliant is an excellent corporate citizen and will follow all the rules and guidelines in operating their Plan B facility just as they do the existing power plant.
The Times-Republican supports pursuing this project and encourages Alliant to once again choose our town as the site of a new state-of-the-art power plant.