Contractor selected for Iowa's 36.4-MW Red Rock hydroelectric project

Red Rock Dam

Missouri River Energy Services' Board of Directors and Western Minnesota Power Agency have selected Ames Construction Inc. as general contractor for the 36.4-MW Red Rock hydroelectric project.

The plant, which will be built along existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineer infrastructure on the Des Moines River, was granted its final two approvals by the Corps earlier this month. MRES said one proposal was related to the 408 and 404 processes.

The 408 permit ensures the hydropower plant will not impact the Corps' operations at Red Rock Dam, while the 404 permit covers dredge and fill operations for the project.

"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," MRES CEO Tom Heller said.

MRES includes 61 municipal utilities from Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, while WMMPA is made up of MRES members in Minnesota. WMMPA will provide financing for the project on behalf of MRES. reported this past June that MRES officials said the project was still moving forward after prequalifying builders for the plant in September 2012.

The group awarded Voith Hydro a $46 million contract to supply generators and turbines for the Red Rock plant in April 2012, giving the project the capability to generate up to 55 MW at certain times of the year when water is available, though it is licensed at 36.4 MW.

Work on the project should begin in early 2014, with Red Rock being operational by late 2016, MRES said.

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