Monthly Archives: March 2015

Ames natural gas system set for renovation

Natural gas construction projects will replace and upgrade systems to continue ensuring long-term safety and reliability

Ames, Iowa – The arrival of spring brings the hustle and bustle of construction work. Our company will begin major natural gas system renovation projects in Ames this week.

“We are ready to get to work on these projects,” said Jon Katzenmeier, Alliant Energy natural gas project manager. “Over time, natural gas systems experience normal wear and tear. The purpose of the upgrade and replacement projects is to ensure that our customers in Ames will continue to have access to safe and reliable natural gas service.”

Work is slated to begin in Ames this week. Construction will involve 19 different natural gas system projects with a total investment of approximately $3 million. Projects will include upgrading and replacing existing distribution natural gas pipelines and other equipment currently serving homes and businesses.IMG_3402

Intercon Energy Services is the contractor for the projects. Construction is expected to be completed in November.

Residents and business owners impacted by the construction projects will be notified when construction work will be occurring in their areas.

“The projects may require area streets to be inaccessible for a period of time,” added Katzenmeier. “We appreciate the patience and understanding of the residents and businesses in the area during the construction project. We will continue to communicate updates to the City of Ames and our customers on the progress of these projects.”

Our company also expects to begin work to upgrade the natural gas distribution systems in Boone and Nevada this spring.

Anyone interested in receiving natural gas service in Ames that currently does not have service should call us at 1-888-255-4254 for more information on making the switch to natural gas service.

Blain’s Farm and Fleet helping farmers grow greener fields with energy efficiency

Company builds new energy efficient farm specialty retail store in Dubuque

Dubuque, Iowa – Blain’s Farm and Fleet is connecting with its Dubuque area customers through energy efficiency. The company recently opened a new 121,000 square foot store in Dubuque.

Blain’s Farm and Fleet installed energy-efficient lighting with occupancy controls and daylighting dimming; building insulation; window glazing and heating and cooling technologies.

“The new Dubuque facility is saving energy reducing costs and preserving our natural resources from day one,” said Jane Blain Gilbertson, CEO and president. “Our company remains focused on connecting with our customers to provide quality service and products. One way we can continue to do this is by providing a store for our customers that is energy efficient and customer-focused.”


Check presentation participants (from left to right): Jo Blakeman, Blain’s Dubuque assistant store manager trainee; Traci Handel, Blain’s Dubuque assistant store manager, Craig Clefisch, Alliant Energy key account manager, Dave Wynn, Blain’s construction project manager, Neal VanLoo, Blain’s director of engineering, Bill Schendt, Blain’s director of finance, Amanda Kinsel, Blain’s Dubuque store manager, Dan Wagner, Blain’s assistant store manager, Tim Madole, Blain’s regional manager.

Blain’s Farm and Fleet expects to save more than 543,400 kilowatt-hours therms of electricity per year. The annual environmental impact is equivalent to reducing oil consumption by 871 barrels or 134 tons of landfill waste per year.

In addition to energy and cost savings, Blain’s Farm and Fleet received a rebate of $92,381 through Alliant Energy’s Commercial New Construction program.

“Blain’s Farm and Fleet’s emphasis on energy efficiency benefits their customers and our environment,” said Craig Clefisch, Alliant Energy key account manager. “The agriculture industry continues to seek innovative ways to conserve our natural resources. Blain’s Farm and Fleet is leading by example and doing its part to help encourage the conservation of our greatest natural resources.”

Keeping people warm: Alliant Energy to donate $2 million to assist low income families with heating costs

MADISON, Wis. – We’re making a donation of $2 million to our Hometown Care Energy Fund, which helps income-eligible customers across Alliant Energy’s service area keep up with heating costs.

Our Hometown Care Energy Fund collects donations from Alliant Energy shareowners, employees, retirees and customers. Over the past year, our customers, employees and retirees gave more than $250,000 through optional contributions. Alliant Energy’s contribution of $2 million comes from shareowners and is not included in the rates charged to utility customers.

Donations are distributed by community action agencies in Iowa and Minnesota and by Energy Services Inc.’s Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund in Wisconsin.

Income-eligible Alliant Energy customers can apply for funding as follows:

In Wisconsin, through their County Energy Assistance office

In Iowa, through their Community Action Agency

In Minnesota, through their County Energy Assistance office

The funds will be dispersed to the agencies this month. For more information on the Hometown Care Energy Fund, visit


We’re working to protect eagles in Iowa

In the last week, one of the famous Decorah Eaglets was killed on one of our poles in rural Keokuk County. It was about 150 miles from where it hatched, and in a part of the state where we haven’t seen many eagles in the past.

We want our customers and fellow Iowans to know that we are saddened by this event, and we are taking more steps to protect the eagles and other wildlife in our territory.

When we built our lines in this area of rural Keokuk County, we installed animal protection for the expected wildlife, which at the time did not include eagles. However, in recent years, the eagle population has grown in non-traditional areas like this because of newer livestock farming operations, which provide sources of food for the eagles.

We are learning from this, and our crews have already started working to install equipment to protect eagles and other birds in the area.

As part of our long-standing Avian Protection Plan, we will add special line covers and anti-perching devices in this area. We will install this equipment as soon as it is ready, which could be as soon as the next week or two. We have used this equipment in many other parts of the state.

This incident was a new situation for us, and we are going to carefully study how we can identify other non-typical places that could become areas of concern as the population of eagles continues to flourish in Iowa.

We appreciate the work of the Raptor Resource Project, located in Decorah, and hope to work together to share the lessons learned from these developments with others.

Cargill meat processing plant saves energy through reverse-osmosis

Energy-efficiency project in facility reduces energy costs

Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Reverse-osmosis? It sounds like something from a science fiction novel, but Cargill’s meat processing plant in Albert Lea, Minnesota, is using it to reduce energy costs and their impact on the environment.

The company installed a reverse-osmosis system in the facility, which removes solids from the boiler. As a result, the system reduces the water and heat needed to complete the production process.

“We continue to seek ways to further incorporate energy efficiency into our daily production processes, said Kevin Saxton, Cargill plant general manager. “We appreciate the partnership we have had with Alliant Energy over the years, and the collaborative effort to make our plant more energy efficient.”

Cargill expects to save more than 17,000 therms of natural gas per year. The environmental impact of the reverse-osmosis system is the equivalent to removing 19 passenger vehicles from Iowa roadways or the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by nearly 74 acres of forest in the United States.


Check presentation participants (from left to right): Greg White, Cargill controller; Brad Brouwers, Cargill utilities supervisor; Gerald Mason, Cargill plant and maintenance manager; Kevin Saxton, Cargill general manager and Rebecca Gisel, Alliant Energy key account manager.

In addition to energy and cost savings, Cargill received a rebate of $18,332 through our company’s Custom Rebates program.

“Cargill continues to be a leader in implementing innovative energy efficiency technology into their production processes,” said Rebecca Gisel, Alliant Energy key account manager. “The company recognizes how energy efficiency can reduce costs, save energy and minimize their impact on the environment.”


Volunteers to plant trees for a healthier, more energy-efficient Iowa

Volunteers across Iowa will soon make a major impact on their hometown by planting new trees. This spring, we are working with Trees Forever to fund $181,923 for 44 tree planting projects. These projects are part of the Branching Out program and are listed below.

Volunteers plant trees as part of Branching Out in Cedar Rapids, IA in 2014.

Volunteers plant trees as part of Branching Out in Cedar Rapids, IA in 2014.

Branching Out is a team effort. We provide the funding and local community leaders create each tree-planting project. Experts from Trees Forever help with many parts of the project, especially making sure designs help improve energy-efficiency and that trees are planted correctly.

As of this spring, volunteers have planted trees as part of Branching Out for 25 years. The work has improved energy efficiency across the state. Trees block the sun on hot days and the wind on cold days. Trees also improve the environment by capturing carbon.

“This volunteer work has had a huge impact in Iowa,” said Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “When you add all the trees planted, they have saved the same amount of energy that would be used by 1,242 homes in one year.”

Trees provide many benefits that increase as they grow. To help trees last a long time, it is important to plant and care for them properly. With the threat of Emerald Ash Borer, Japanese beetles, Gypsy moth, Bur Oak Blight and others, the need for a diverse population of trees is important across Iowa.

“We have been working with communities to diversify the species of trees they plant and recent applications to the Branching Out program demonstrate the communities’ commitment to this effort,” said Meredith Borchardt, Trees Forever program manager. “A diverse urban forest is the best way to ensure resiliency when faced with threats such as the Emerald Ash Borer, or whatever the next major disease or pest threat might be.”

For more information, contact Trees Forever at 1-800-369-1269 or visit or

Communities and organizations receiving awards this spring:          

Community Grant Project description
Ames $1,305 Planting for energy efficiency and ash tree replacement at Windsor Oaks Senior Living Community
Asbury $3,750 Ash tree replacement at Asbury City Park
Atlantic $4,505 Ash tree replacement at East Ridge Park and walking trail
Blairstown $1,690 Plantings in parking areas along the streets and a city park
Boone $4,037 Trees planted at Mamie Eisenhower birthplace green space and street trees along Division Street
Burlington $10,000 Street trees in areas of South Hill neighborhood to replace ash trees
Cedar Rapids $7,500 Adding trees to Noelridge Park and Arboretum
Cedar Rapids $1,850 Eagle Scout Project with Troop 5200 and Cedar Rapids Community School District at Cleveland Elementary School to replace storm damaged trees
Cherokee $7,638 Planting 60 trees along three walking trails within the city
Clinton $5,495 Replacing and adding trees to Riverview RV Park
Cresco $750 Planting trees in residential areas throughout town
Creston $10,000 Plantings at the VFW Softball Complex, McKinley Park, Walking Trail, Southwest Community College Campus and Historical Village
Dysart $3,565 Trees on the CR Roberts Trail, in the Heritage Arboretum, City Park, and the elementary school
Eldora $1,376 Trees for a new arboretum in the city cemetery
Eldora $1,313 Replacing trees lost in 2009 hailstorm at Camp Quaker Heights
Fairfield $2,045 Planting 23 trees in Chautauqua Park to replace ash trees
Greenfield $1,600 Trees planted at local golf course, Northside Outdoor Sports Complex and along city streets
Grinnell $10,000 Plantings along residential streets and industrial area
Hiawatha $7,645 Planting 26 trees along Boyson Road
Hubbard $1,000 Planting 12 trees in town and along residential streets and the town entryway
Jefferson $5,000 Adding trees along Maple Street and Daubendiek Park
Lisbon $2,780 Plantings in the Novak addition, Grant avenue Circle Drive in Alger Estates, the downtown area and the cemetery
Marion $7,074 Replacing trees lost to storm damage at Gardener Memorial Golf Course
Marion $5,250 Plantings on the north and south sides of Tower Terrace Road from 10th St. to 3rd St.
Marshalltown $3,067 Planting 33 trees across four city parks
Mason City $9,989 Planting in the downtown area, including around parking lots and along streets
Mechanicsville $1,215 Replacing ash and storm damaged trees along streets and in parks
Middletown $1,000 Replacing damaged and dying trees at Jack Druis Park, Gary Van Sant Memorial Park and adding a shade tree near the Municipal Building
Mount Pleasant $1,400 Plantings at Prairie View Park and East Lake Park
Mount Vernon $6,530 Plantings for a windbreak screen by pool at Davis Park, Nature Park, athletic complex, and dog kennel
Muscatine $10,000 Planting trees along Colorado Street
Nevada $1,152 Eagle Scout Project with Troop 128, adding trees to SCORE Park
Newton $3,478 Plantings at Maytag and Woodland Parks to replace diseased trees
Oxford $10,000 Street trees along Augusta Avenue, near Interstate 80 and at Creekside Park
Preston $550 Adding trees to outdoor classroom at Easton Valley School
Rudd $1,241 Planting trees for shade on walking-biking trail around the lake
Stacyville $1,000 Adding eight trees to City Park
Storm Lake $9,737 Plantings at city-owned Storm Lake Cemetery
Villisca $2,420 Plantings at the new Frisbee Court, an existing Walking Trail, and the Villisca Cemetery
Washington $1,600 Plantings at Kirkwood Community College Regional Center and All Veterans’ Memorial Park
Washington $1,653 Replacing ash and diseased trees in several city parks, near an old water storage tank and along streets
Waukon $1,886 Adding street trees along 11th Ave SW, 13th St NW, the City Park border along Hwy 9/76 and 3rd Ave. NW
Wayland $900 Replacement trees in City Park
West Branch $5,935 Planting 125 trees on the campus and farm of Scattergood Friends School in celebration of their 125th Anniversary


About us:

Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization with a mission to plant and care for trees and the environment. Trees Forever has involved over 150,000 volunteers in projects that improve air and water quality, increase wildlife habitat, provide substantial energy savings and beautify our landscape.

Alliant Energy Corporation’s Iowa and Minnesota utility subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), utilizes the trade name of Alliant Energy. The Iowa and Minnesota utility is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and provides electric service to 530,000 customers and natural gas service to 235,000 customers in over 700 communities. The employees of Alliant Energy focus on delivering the energy and exceptional service their customers and communities expect – safely, efficiently, and responsibly. Visit or call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268) for more information. Alliant Energy Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT.

Ottumwa Generating Station providing cleaner energy for Iowans

Projects reduce environmental impact and increase efficiency

 OTTUMWA, Iowa – Our company’s Iowa utility recently completed projects at the Ottumwa Generating Station (OGS) that are reducing emissions and making Iowa’s air cleaner.

Local and state leaders, labor partners and project contractors joined our company and our OGS co-owner, MidAmerican Energy, to celebrate the completion of a $491 million comprehensive air quality control project and other efficiency upgrades at the facility.

OGS Ribbon Cutting

“We are using state-of-the-art technology to advance how we generate energy for our customers,” said John Larsen, senior vice president of generation for Alliant Energy. “This is our largest effort yet to create a positive impact on the environment and furthers our commitment to responsible use of our resources.”

CaptureConstruction began in the second quarter of 2012 and included installation of a baghouse and scrubber technology. The technology is designed to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and mercury by 90 percent. It will also meet pending Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulations. In addition, new equipment installed at the facility is expected to result in the OGS producing more energy while using less fuel.

The projects also created a positive economic development impact. At the peak of construction more than 800 skilled-labor workers logged more than 1,900,000 hours to complete the projects. The projects required more than 7,800 cubic yards of concrete poured and 7,900 tons of steel.

“Our company continues to research other opportunities to further reduce the impact our generating fleet has on our environment,” said Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “These investments have long-term benefits for our customers. By having a balanced supply of energy resources with environmental benefits, we have the flexibility to meet customer energy needs and future environmental regulations in a cost-effective way.”

Since 2005, our company has reduced emissions output at a number of generating stations, reducing its generating fleet’s CO2 output by approximately 15 percent. We expect to fuel-switch or retire more than 1,400 megawatts of the company’s fossil-fueled generation by 2020.