Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hydroelectricity and picking up stuff

The big news in this part of the state this morning, courtesy of The Register, involves plans for a hydroelectric  generating plant at Red Rock dam on the Des Moines River, just up the road northeast of here between Knoxville and Pella. 

The $260 million plan involves installing turbines at the existing dam, with the plant located just to the right of the structure as it appears in this U.S. Army Corps of Engineers image. A group of 61 municipalities in four states doing business as Missouri River Energy Services is behind the project.

No one seems to be expressing concern about the project, including Iowa's Department of Natural Resources, because the dam already is there --- and has been since 1969. As Mike Delaney, Izaak Walton League lobbyist told The Register, "....the mess has already been made at Red Rock."

I was interested to see in the Register report that 16 percent of Iowa's power now comes from the wind (nearly 72 percent from coal, however). The new plant supposedly will produce enough energy to power 18,000 homes, so I'm wondering how that figure would transition into a percentage were all of the power to remain in Iowa, which it won't.

It's unlikely to cut the number of coal trains that rumble through Chariton daily, however, gradually carrying what remains of Wyoming east to coal-fired plants elsewhere. Anyhow, The Register's story about this is here at the moment.


This is one of those mornings when a few brave souls meet on the square at 6 a.m. with gloves, garbage bags and anything else that seems useful to pick up trash and cigarette butts and pull weeds out of cracks in the sidewalk. Gotta go.

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