Utility Closes Its Last QC Coal Plant

Apr 14, 2021

In January, MidAmerican Energy closed its 96-year-old power plant in the Quad Cities.

Michelle O'Neill reports. 

In a couple of years, MidAmerican Energy will  decide what to do with the riverfront property in Bettendorf.

Geoff Greenwood, MidAmerican Energy Media Relations Manager
Credit submitted / MidAmerican Energy

Media Relations Manager, Geoff Greenwood, says five years ago, the utility switched the Riverside Generating Station from coal to natural gas.

It was primarily used for emergency power. The plant's ten employees have either retired or transferred to other MidAmerican Energy locations.

He says it'll take about two years to decommission the plant. Materials will be recycled, sold for scrap, or thrown away. " class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Historic photos of the coal power plant on the Mississippi River the Quad Cities
Credit submitted / MidAmerican Energy

In 1925, the plant was built six miles upstream of Davenport by United Light and Power. It sits right beside Arconic's Davenport Works (formerly the Aluminium Company of American and ALCOA).

Later, Iowa Illinois Gas and Electric took over operation of the coal plant.

The building and equipment will be taken apart and materials salvaged, recycled, or thrown away.

For years, MidAmerican Energy has been building wind farms to replace coal.

And Greenwood says last year, wind power made up 83% of all the electricity used by Iowa customers, up from around 60% the previous year.