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CIPCO Announces $85 Million Infrastructure Investment in Rural Southwest Iowa

Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) announces an $85 million investment to repower the natural gas-fired Summit Lake Generating Station in Creston. The project includes demolition of the 70-year old steam plant, installation of efficient natural gas-fired reciprocating engines, construction of a new operations and dispatch center, and substation upgrades all by late 2022. The plant was built in 1948 and has been a reliable source of electricity in southwest Iowa.


“After 70 years, the time has come to update the plant to ensure continued safe and reliable operations,” said CIPCO’s Executive Vice President and CEO Bill Cherrier. “This repowering project adds greater diversity to CIPCO’s portfolio and complements our planned buildout of additional wind and solar resources with dispatchable, quick-start natural gas capacity to run when the wind and sun aren’t producing electricity. Keeping the lights on for our members 24/7 is our top priority.”


Last month, CIPCO filed a Petition of Waiver with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) seeking to install up to 60 megawatts of new natural gas-fired reciprocating engines at the existing Summit Lake site. Upon approval, the project is slated to begin around mid-2019.


“We’re happy to invest in southwest Iowa,” said President of Farmers Electric Cooperative and CIPCO Director Dan Westphal. “Providing jobs for contractors, when feasible, and sourcing materials through local resources, is important as we support communities and the economy in this part of the state.”


CIPCO’s presence in western Iowa also includes the Heartland Divide Wind Energy Center, located in Guthrie and Audubon Counties. Earlier this year, CIPCO along with developer NextEra Energy, broke ground on CIPCO’s largest wind contract to date, providing 103 megawatts of energy when the project becomes operational in December of this year.


This summer, NextEra Energy and Alliant Energy petitioned the IUB to close the Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC) in Palo in 2020, 14 years before the plant’s operating license expires. CIPCO is 20 percent owner of the nuclear plant and receives 20 percent of its generating capacity from DAEC.


“We’re looking hard at good opportunities to potentially add a large-scale solar project, as well as additional wind projects to our portfolio,” said Cherrier. “Right now, pricing on next generation resources is advantageous, but it’s important to consider the options. Not only do our members insist on cost efficiencies, they also demand reliability. It’s important to keep a balanced approach for the future.”


Central Iowa Power Cooperative

CIPCO is a generation and transmission electric cooperative built by member cooperatives and the communities they serve. With a balanced, 24/7 energy portfolio, CIPCO is committed to providing cost-effective, clean, safe, and reliable energy. CIPCO and its 13 members serve over 300,000 Iowans in 58 Iowa counties. CIPCO’s principal place of business is Des Moines, Iowa, with locations in Cedar Rapids, Creston, and Wilton. For more information visit



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