By RYAN SILVOLA
TOWN OF BELOIT — Officials estimate construction on Alliant Energy Corp.’s new power plant is about 15 percent complete, with the project still expected to be finished in early 2020.
Construction on the West Riverside Energy Center, formerly known as the Riverside Expansion, began in April, Alliant spokesperson Scott Reigstad said.
An official groundbreaking event for the new plant took place on Sept. 22, 2016. Though on-site work began on Aug. 22, 2016, Reigstad said in April that the work had been mostly site preparation that included general earthwork, the installation of power sources and the expansion of the high capacity well.
Construction on the 730 megawatt natural gas-fueled facility itself began in April.
“The plan is for the outside enclosures and structural steel wraps to be completed in late 2018,” Reigstad said.
As of Friday he said there are now about 250 workers on site. So far, completed activities include site preparation and major excavation work for the main plant, installation of the underground laterals for the well, above ground work for the collector well pumps, electrical and piping and the foundation for heat recovery steam generator number one.
Activities that are expected to be completed by the end of 2017 include delivery of the two combustion turbines, the foundation for combustion turbine number one, the delivery of the two heat recovery steam generators, the foundation for heat recovery system generator number two and the installation of all underground conduits.
In addition, Reigstad said the heat recovery steam generator modules are starting to arrive as well as pieces of the 750-ton crane that is needed and will be built on site. Also, the installation of the modules into the casings will start later this month, as will earthwork on the new Kittyhawk Substation that is needed as part of the project.
The $700 million investment is estimated to be able to power 550,000 homes. The 90 acre project site is located on the western edge of Alliant’s 315-acre energy campus in the Town of Beloit and is expected to create approximately 1,000 construction jobs per year between 2017 and 2020.
The Rock River Solar Facility is a part of the energy campus and started generating power in early 2016.
Alliant is constructing a second solar facility on the campus that is expected to go into service in early 2020. The new West Riverside Solar Facility is expected to have the capacity to generate around 2