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Informational meeting set Thursday on proposed Marshalltown power plant

Alliant Energy will be able to file petition for plant following meeting

Alliant Energy on Thursday said it would build a natural gas-fired power plant in Marshalltown at the site of its Sutherland Generating Station, shown above. The company had previously planned to build a coal-fired plant on the site. (contributed photo)
Alliant Energy on Thursday said it would build a natural gas-fired power plant in Marshalltown at the site of its Sutherland Generating Station, shown above. The company had previously planned to build a coal-fired plant on the site. (contributed photo)

The Iowa Utilities Board will hold its first public meeting Thursday in Marshalltown on a $700 million power plant proposed by Alliant Energy.

Representatives of Alliant will discuss and answer questions about the company's proposal to build a 650-megawatt natural gas fired power plant in Marshall County, according to a board spokesman.

After the meeting is held, Alliant will be free to file a petition seeking authority to build the plant. The utilities board will then open a docketed generating certificate case, and begin accepting public comments to become part of the permanent case record.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Regency Inn Best Western, 3303 South Center St. in Marshalltown.

Alliant Energy had previously proposed to build a more than $1.3 billion power station in Marshalltown that would have burned coal. It withdrew the plan after receiving a highly conditional approval from the Iowa Utilities Board.

The natural gas-fired power plant is part of a new power supply plan announced by Interstate Power and Light, Alliant's Cedar Rapids-based utility, this year.

So far, most of the concern that plan has generated from power user groups is focused on another portion of the plan, which extends an agreement to buy power from NextEra Energy's Duane Arnold Energy Center in Palo from 2014 through 2025.

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In a Sept. 20 filing with the board, a group of 25 large energy users asked to intervene in the docket regarding the NextEra power purchase.

The filing by the Large Energy Group said the proposal "changes the cost recovery approach, shifting the costs among customer classes in a way that will cause great harm to larger industrial consumers."

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