The Boards of Directors of Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) and Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA) have approved moving forward with the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project and have chosen Ames Construction as the general contractor.

To be built at the existing Red Rock Dam along the Des Moines River near Pella, Iowa, the project will have a nameplate capacity of 36.4MW, making it the second largest hydroelectric plant in the US state.

"Since we first announced our intentions to build the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project in 2011, we have been working our way through an intense, time-consuming regulatory process with state and federal agencies," said MRES CEO Tom Heller.

Last month, the US Army Corps of Engineers granted the final two approvals needed before construction of the project could begin. Those approvals were for the 408 process, which is designed to ensure that the project will not impact the Corps’ operations at Red Rock, and for the 404 Permit, which covers dredge and fill for the project.

MRES is an organization of 61 municipalities in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. WMMPA will provide financing for the project on behalf of MRES. WMMPA is made up of MRES members in the State of Minnesota and has provided financing for all of the major generating and transmission facilities that MRES uses to serve its member municipal electric systems.

Construction of the project could begin later this year and is expected to start commercial operation in the second quarter of 2018.


Caption: Rendering of Red Rock hydro project. Courtesy of Missouri River Energy Services