Alliant power project closer to halfway mark

Staff writer

TOWN OF BELOIT — Construction on the Alliant Energy’s West Riverside Energy Center was about 35 percent complete as of early July.

Scott Reigstad, senior communications partner, said nearly 800,000 total work hours have been spent on site so far. The site will be about halfway completed this fall and is scheduled to be in service by early 2020. Officials estimate the project will be a $685 million investment.

The labor force on the project is current ranging from 500-600 people. Reigstad said several hundred workers are expected to be present through the remainder of summer and into fall.

Officials previously told the Beloit Daily News the project would create more than 1,000 total construction jobs per year between 2017 and 2020, with total economic benefits of more than $250 million.

“Currently, a lot of activity involves putting in concrete, cable, structural steel, piping and ductwork for the generating station,” Reigstad said. “The different buildings going up on the property are getting closer to completion.”

He said the administration building is undergoing work on its roof and interior, with heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems also being installed. The water treatment building steel and masonry work is ongoing, with siding and roofing underway as well. Also, the cooling tower construction continues to be moving forward.

In the next few months, he said work will continue on the administration, water treatment and cooling tower buildings. Steel and other work will be ongoing for the combustion and steam turbine structures.

To promote worker safety and health during construction, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), AECOM (Alliant’s primary contractor), the Wisconsin Onsite Consultation Program and the Southern Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council recently signed a strategic partnership.

Contractors and subcontractors will develop safety and health training programs and procedures; identify and present weekly training on common hazards such as falls, trenching and excavation, and silica exposure; and train workers on the proper use of respirators and personal protection equipment. The program also includes monthly safety site inspections to assist with eliminating safety hazards.

The West Riverside Energy Center will be a 730-megawatt, natural-gas fueled, highly efficient generating station located next to the existing Riverside Energy Center on Alliant’s Rock River campus in the Town of Beloit.

A 2-megawatt solar field also will be built next to the natural gas facility. The West Riverside Solar Facility is set to be operational in 2020.

When operational, the new plant will create 25 full-time jobs and bring in $3 million annually to the Town of Beloit and Rock County in shared utility revenue.

Currently on the Rock River campus sits the Riverside Energy Center, a 675-megawatt natural gas-fueled generation facility Alliant purchased in 2012. Also on the campus is the 2.3-megawatt Rock River Solar Facility, which went into service in 2016.