Alliant Energy implodes Sutherland Generating Station

Closure of coal-fired power plant part of transition to cleaner energy future


MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa – August 29, 2019 – Alliant Energy completed the implosion of the remaining structures of the company’s Sutherland Generating Station (SGS) today. The demolition was carried out by Bierlein Companies from Midland, Michigan and Dykon Blasting Corporation of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The 1950s-era coal-fired facility ceased operations in June 2017 following the construction of the nearby Marshalltown Generating Station (MGS). MGS is a 706-megawatt natural gas-fired facility and is one of the most efficient natural gas power plants in the nation. Its construction complements Alliant Energy’s renewable energy expansion. As a result of investments in wind and solar energy, Alliant Energy will have the ability to provide cleaner energy for more than 600,000 Iowa homes.

“After Sutherland was built, our employees did a tremendous job maintaining and operating it for decades on behalf of our customers. Now we’re using new technology that will produce cleaner energy in more cost-effective ways.” said Terry Kouba, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company. 

The retirement of Sutherland is in line with our company’s guiding principles to advance clean energy. Approximately 30% of the company’s fossil-fueled generation capacity has been retired since 2005. This includes over 1,000 megawatts of retired coal-fired generation.

At its peak, Sutherland’s three turbines could generate a total of 165 megawatts of electricity and employed more than 60 people. Decommissioning work began in August  2018. Today’s implosion provides a safer and more cost-effective way to clear the property. More than 99% of the materials from SGS will either be reused on site or recycled.