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Local News 4.3.2018

U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack toured the hydroelectric dam at Lake Red Rock from its windy top to its innards on a blustery Monday.  Red Rock Hydroelectric Project supervisor Vern Cochran gave Loebsack a bird’s-eye view from the dam’s top, then led him through a series of steps and ladders down to the riverbed to show him how the plant works.  Loebsack said Iowa has wind and solar power, coal, natural gas and now more hydroelectric power.  The project began in August 2014 and is scheduled to be done in August 2019, about a year later than original projections.  Cochran said high winds have been one of several issues that have slowed progress on the new power plant.  Cranes used to place large structures and equipment in position around the worksite sit idle when winds are more than 20 mph, which has slowed work.  Issues uncovered underground have been a problem too – as workers dug they encountered gypsum, which water had washed out, leaving voids that needed to be grouted or filled before work could progress.  Cochran said all the work will be worth it in the end, as the new hydroelectric plant will provide decades of renewable energy for local communities in South Central Iowa.

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