SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A four-member panel of experts in dam and hydroelectric project design and construction has given its approval to construction work thus far at the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project, located on the Des Moines River near Pella, Iowa.
An Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) Panel was on site at the project Jan. 14-15 to review reports, tour the facilities, observe construction activities, and examine various construction elements.
The IEPR Panel’s job is to meet the Safety Assurance Review (SAR) requirements of the Water Resource Development Act of 2007. SARs are conducted to ensure that good science, sound engineering, and public health, safety, and welfare are the most important factors in guiding the engineering design and implementation of the project. SARs are used to inform the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Chief of Engineers of the adequacy, appropriateness, and acceptability of the design and construction activities for the purpose of assuring public health, safety, and welfare.
Representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the project’s design engineering firm – MWH Americas, the project’s general contractor – Ames Construction, and Missouri River Energy Services joined the IEPR Panel for the meeting and review.
The Panel noted that “the quality of the work by the contractor and the control of the construction being maintained by MWH and the owner are commendable.” The panel also said that, after examining test sections of elements of the project, work could proceed on remaining elements following the means, methods, and procedures used in the test sections.
Work on the project began in August 2014 and is expected to be completed by early 2018. When complete, the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project will produce 36.4 megawatts of electricity – enough to meet the needs of about 18,000 homes