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Alliant, Marshalltown Power Plant

STATUS:  Canceled

TYPE: Coal

OPPOSITION:  The Iowa Consumer Advocate, Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Farmer’s Union, Iowa Renewable Energy Association, Green State Solutions

PROSPECTS:  Unlikely

BACKGROUND: In 2007, Alliant Energy announced plans for a new $1 billion coal-fired power plant in Marshalltown, Iowa.  The plant, scheduled to open in 2013, was expected to provide 60 to 85 full-time jobs and a construction workforce averaging 300 to 400 per day, with a jump to 1,000 at its peak, plus $1.7 million in new tax revenues for the host city alone.  The plant was specially designed to potentially allow some of the boilers to burn switchgrass and other biomass fuels.

The developer applied to the Iowa Utilities Board on July 2, 2007.  Various groups opposed to the project filed as intervenors based on the alleged environmental impact of plant CO2 emissions. On October 22, 2007, the Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate recommended the plant be rejected and replaced with more cost effective and environmentally sound alternatives.

On August 26, 2008 the Iowa Utility Board (IUB) granted the developer a construction permit, requiring the plant to generate a portion of its energy from biomass and renewable resources.  It reserved the right to require installation of carbon capture technology if and when it is available.
On February 4, 2009, the developer received an IUB rate-making decision that effectively rendered the plant non-economic. The IUB set a return on equity of 10.1 percent and a cost cap of $2816.00 per kilowatt.  The developer had requested a return on equity of 12.55 percent and a cost cap of $3483.00 per kilowatt.  Then, on February 27 opponents filed suit to overturn the IUB permit due to CO2 emissions. On March 5, the developer announced that it was canceling the plant due to a combination of factors, including the financial climate and concerns about the possibility of future regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

SOURCES: http://www.timesrepublican.com/page/category.detail/nav/5065/Alliant-Energy—Power-Plant-Story-Archive.html http://www.timesrepublican.com/page/content.detail/id/515094.html?nav=5005

LAST UPDATED: November 16, 2010