Officials from Alliant Energy and the Iowa Utilities Board heard public input in regard to the $750 million natural gas plant Alliant plans to complete over the next five years.
If approved, the 600-megawatt plant would generate enough electricity for 500,000 homes as well as $1.7 million in property taxes for Marshall County.
Linda Mattes, the project manager for the gas plant, gave a presentation about the benefits and logistics of having a gas plant in Marshalltown at the Best Western Regency Inn Thursday evening.
T-R PHOTO BY DAVID ALEXANDER
President of Interstate Power and Electric, which own Alliant Energy, Tom Aller speaks about the proposed natural gas plant Thursday night at the Best Western Regency Inn. If approved by the Utilities Board, the $750 million plant would come online in April 2017.
"Our strategic plan focuses on three foundational pieces," she said. "Competitive costs, balanced supply of energy and safe and reliable service."
The plant's construction is part of a $750 million facelift aimed to keep up with growing energy demand, Mattes said.
Alliant will file for the first round regulatory approval from the Utilities Board in January. Crews are scheduled to break ground at the end of 2014 with the plant going online in April 2017.
Tom Aller, president of Interstate Power and Electric, which owns Alliant, said the process will not be without its challenges but that he is confident if concerns are addressed along the way the project will have a favorable outcome.
"We value open and transparent communication," Mattes said.
Aller thanked, among many, the late Mayor Gene Beach for his steadfast support of Alliant's partnership with Marshalltown.
Communities leaders from across Marshalltown participated in a public comments segment following the presentation.
Mayor Thomas Thompson, Denny Grabenbauer, chair of the Marshall County Supervisors, Brian Burnside, CEO of Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center, Conrad Dejardin, president of Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors, all lined up at the lectern to laude the plant's construction and implore to the Utility Board to look on Alliant's application favorably.
Tom Deimerly, president of Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee, said the plant would bolster Marshalltown's economy not only in the short term but also in the long term.
"Economic development is a marathon not a sprint," he said. "It is all about positioning."
Moving forward, Aller said Alliant will hold citizen advisory council meetings where citizens can come and give input and learn about the plant's progression.
Once all the filings for the project have been made public, those filings can be found on the Iowa Utilities Board website at iub.iowa.gov.