Construction of new generating station on schedule

From seven years of planning to a groundbreaking to the installation of 1,300 pilings, the Marshalltown Generating Station is quickly taking shape.

And day-by-day, the facility is slowly rising from the ground.

Significantly more progress will be made once winter releases its grip, said Kenn Vinson of the company.

Recent accomplishments include the installation of the pilings and a continuous 9-hour, 1,000-yard concrete pour.

A lot of work has been done previous to those milestones.

“The contractors have been working since June and a great deal of ground work has been completed, including the installation of roadways and parking lots,” Vinson said.

Vinson said KBR of Texas and four subcontractors are building the plant, not Alliant.

However, Alliant has significant staff on site overseeing the project.

The project motivated Vinson, a long-time company employee, to come out of retirement to help.

Currently, the dozens of workers coming and going now to the site at the far east end of Nevada Street will soon be reinforced by another 400 skilled craftsman who will began work on the next phase of construction.

And work will be accelerating to the point that temporary stop and go lights will be installed on 18th Avenue to safely allow workers to enter and exit the site safely while Marshalltonians also use the busy street.

Alliant and KBR recently sponsored meetings with city and county law enforcement officials to make them aware of safety concerns.

“We are asking resident to avoid using 18th Avenue between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.,” Vinson said.

“That is when many workers are reporting for duty. Also, we are asking folks to respect the 35-mile an hour speed limit.” Currently the site represents a small city, with dozens of work trailers dotting the landscape.

Since the shovels hit the dirt for the July 15 groundbreaking last year, Alliant and KBR have had their eye on completing the project estimated to be in November.

After testing and other work, it is expected KBR will turn the keys over to Alliant in April 2017.

It will provide energy to 500,000 customers, employ roughly 20 to 30 permanent employees.

The power plant will be 650-megawatts and will power more than 500,000 homes.

It will be a combined-cycle and natural gas-fueled generating station.

It will provide reliable, clean and cost-competitive energy to customers now and well into the future.

The Sutherland Station is scheduled to close by 2016.

Estimated at $750 million, it is one of the largest projects ever undertaken by Alliant Energy, and is the most significant economic development project to land in Marshalltown since Lennox Manufacturing selected the community for a multi-million dollar expansion in 1994.

Marshalltown beat out 116 other cities contending for the state-of-the-art generating plant.