CEDAR RAPIDS – Iowans will continue to have power they can count on after more major investments from Alliant Energy. In 2014, crews are adding more than $185 million in improvements to its energy grid in Iowa and Minnesota.
“Iowans will see our crews working on the grid from Keokuk to Sibley, and from Mount Ayr to Lansing,” said Linda Mattes, vice president of energy delivery. “As crews get busy, especially this spring, we ask drivers to slow down and be aware of work areas.”
In a request made by the Daily Iowegian for additional information about projects in Appanoose County, Justin Foss, spokesperson for Alliant Energy, said crews will be working in southwest Centerville and along Highway 2 to rebuild a total of three miles of power lines in 2014.
“These projects will involve installing new equipment and making the system stronger,” Foss said. “Together, these projects represent an investment of about $364,000.”
Foss said crews will also be working in Chariton on a similar project involving 1.7 miles of line for a cost of $386,000.
This year, work on the energy grid will include upgrading power poles, wires, and transformers in communities, along streets and in neighborhoods. Crews will also work on the part of the energy grid that includes underground natural gas pipelines.
“All of this equipment works together so the lights turn on when you flip the switch, and so your furnace has gas to heat your home,” said Mattes. “Our efforts are improving the system in noticeable ways.”
Since 2010, investments in the energy grid have helped Iowans see 22 percent fewer outages. When an outage does happen, Alliant Energy’s work has helped reduced the time it takes to get the power back on by about 16 percent.
These improvements are the result of continuously upgrading the grid. In 2013, for example, Alliant Energy crews added more than $170 million in upgrades.
In addition to making the system stronger, this work supports economic development. Businesses can expand or start construction quicker when the energy grid is ready for them.