The Iowa Utilities Board on Wednesday gave its stamp of approval to a new coal-fired power plant in Marshalltown proposed by Alliant Energy.
We applaud the decision of the board, despite member Darrell Hanson’s dissenting vote against the proposal.
Alliant Energy has worked hard to make this plant more than just another coal-fired generating facility.
The company included the use of biomass (or switchgrass) in its plan as a way to rely less on coal and more on environmentally-friendly energy options.
Alliant also has worked to increase its generation of power from other renewable resources, such as wind.
These things show the company intends to be a good, environment-conscience steward as it moves forward with meeting our state’s future energy needs.
The IUB re-inforced Alliant’s own intentions by requiring the company to co-fire five percent biomass within the first two years of the plant’s operation, eventually reaching 10 percent by the fifth year.
A second condition requires Alliant’s energy mix to include 10 percent renewable energy by 2013, the plant’s expected first year of operation, increasing one percent annually for the next 15 years.
A third condition — the possibility of requiring carbon capture technology to be installed at the plant when it becomes more feasible — ensures that as technology changes, Alliant will continue to improve its plant and lessen the impact on the environment.
Congratulations Alliant Energy.
And thank you to the IUB board members voting “yes” for the new power plant — you made the right choice, the smart choice and the best choice for Iowa’s energy future.