DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Interstate Power and Light Co. said Thursday it plans to seek regulatory approval to build a new natural gas-powered electricity generation plant in Marshalltown, though the plant — expected to cost between $650 million and $750 million — won't become operational before mid-2017.
The announcement was made by Alliant Energy Corp., Interstate Power's parent company, as part of its long-term plan to provide electricity for customers in Iowa and Minnesota. Construction can't begin until after regulatory approval is granted, which the company expects by the end of 2014.
"We look forward to working with the community as we pursue regulatory approvals to construct a new generating facility in Marshalltown," Tom Aller, president of IPL, said in a statement. "This new facility will create Iowa jobs and will further position Marshalltown and the rest of our service area to pursue additional economic development opportunities."
The 600-megawatt plant is one part of the company's long-term plan to meet electricity demands of its Iowa and Minnesota customers.
Interstate Power also plans to seek regulatory approval this month to purchase electricity from NextEra Energy Resources, which operates the Duane Arnold Energy Center in Palo, the state's only nuclear power plant.
The companies have negotiated an agreement for the purchase of energy from 2014 through 2025.
A decision by the Iowa Utilities Board is expected by early 2013.
Iowa Power said its plan also includes spending about $430 million over the next five years to reduce emissions and increase efficiency of existing coal-fired plants.
The plan also includes a continued commitment to renewable resources and energy efficiency.
Gov. Terry Branstad said the company's plan for a new power plant is a boost to the state's economy.
"This expansion helps drive Iowa's economy and creates good paying, quality jobs in our state," he said.
Madison, Wis.-based Alliant Energy provides electricity and natural gas to more than 1.4 million customers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.