September 2017 edition

Wind expansion plans reach $1.8 billion

Alliant Energy is taking another major step forward in advancing clean energy in Iowa. The company has filed a request with the Iowa Utilities Board to build up to 500 megawatts of wind generation in the state. Approval is expected by January 31, 2018. One wind farm will be located in Clay and Dickinson counties in northwest Iowa and the other will be in Poweshiek County in east central Iowa.

This is in addition to the request Alliant Energy filed and received approval for in 2016. The combined expansions would represent a $1.8 billion investment. This could add up to 1,000 megawatts of new wind generation in Iowa. That’s enough to power up to 430,000 Iowa homes a year.

“The customers and communities we serve will benefit from this cost effective clean energy,” said Doug Kopp, President of our Iowa energy company. “Our wind projects will help keep energy costs stable over the long-term for customers.”

If this second expansion is approved, wind is expected to comprise more than one-third of Alliant Energy's Iowa energy mix in 2020.

Project roundup

The latest projects in Iowa and Wisconsin
Upper Lakes Foods moves into new Janesville, WI distribution center
Cloquet, MN based Upper Lakes Foods, Inc. is expanding its corporate network by moving into a 100,000 square foot refrigerated/frozen distribution center in Janesville, WI. The new facility sits on a 9.5 acre site and can be doubled in size. The operation is scheduled to open by Q3 2017 and will employ 57 people.

Upper Lake Foods is a privately-held wholesale food distributor that services healthcare, institutional and quick-service restaurants within the extended Midwest. The company carries over 14,000 name brand products, ranging from fresh to frozen and from poultry to produce.

This project reinforces the power of leveraging market proximity and provides another example of how the Janesville-Beloit MSA is continually attracting new targeted industry investments.
Continental ContiTech to begin major expansion 
In response to the increasing demand for industrial hoses in the NAFTA region, Continental A.G.’s ContiTech business is investing $12 million to expand its Mount Pleasant, IA plant.

This investment will add 36,000 square feet to the Mount Pleasant footprint, bringing the size of the facility to over 200,000 square feet. The first phase of the project will create 41 new jobs, with production slated to begin the first quarter of 2018.

This project follows an $8 million expansion that added 80,000 square feet to the facility, which came online April 2017 accommodating a new rubber hose line. The main applications for the PVC hose is industrial while the rubber hose is aimed at the automotive, agricultural and construction equipment industries. The expansion in Mount Pleasant will allow ContiTech to drive synergies and combine technologies in both PVC and rubber hose operations under one roof.
ORBIS Corporation doubling size of Monticello, IA plant
ORBIS Corporation, North America’s leader in reusable packaging is expanding its operation in Monticello, IA to accommodate continued growth. The facility will be more than doubled in size, expanding from 80,000 square feet to 180,000 square feet, positioning the plant for continued manufacturing growth. Construction started in late summer 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by spring 2018.

ORBIS operates in 50 locations worldwide, including two manufacturing facilities and an RPM Service Center for Food and Beverage within Alliant Energy’s service area. At the Monticello facility, ORBIS manufactures reusable totes, trays and bins for use in the food, beverage, automotive and consumer packaged-goods industries. These products are used in place of single-use boxes or cartons, helping companies reduce waste, while adding efficiency to their operations.

ORBIS’ Monticello, IA operation has been reducing its carbon footprint with cleaner and more efficient energy use, and has received awards from Alliant Energy for these accomplishments.
Evco Plastics expands plant in DeForest, WI
DeForest, Wisconsin based Evco Plastics is building a $6 million, 50,000-square-foot addition onto one of its three buildings in DeForest. The expansion will more than double the size of Evco’s medical manufacturing plant, currently at 34,000 square feet, to ramp up capacity for making medical devices and parts. The project will add about 70 jobs over the next few years bringing Evco’s local employment to about 320. Positions will include mold makers, tool and die workers and robotic technicians. The project is expected to be completed in February 2018.

Plastics make up a significant portion of Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry. In 2015, Wisconsin produced $57 billion worth of manufactured goods and nearly 5% were in the plastics and rubber industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Wisconsin ranked eighth among the states for jobs in plastics manufacturing in 2015, with 39,800 jobs, a report by the Plastics Industry Association.
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