MPW looks to move to renewable energy production

The strategic plan for 2021 that was adopted Tuesday evening by Muscatine Power and Water’s Board of Water, Electric, and Communications Trustees anticipates conversion to a gas-fired plant and renewable energy production and expanded services to customers.

Plans call for shifting from coal fired generation to a new gas fired plant, expected to begin operation in 2028, and installation of solar collectors in the Grandview Avenue well field.

General Manager Gage Huston told the board, “This will be one of the biggest strategies the electric utility has faced in its transition.”

The strategic plan also calls for expanding services to promote electric vehicle technology, expansion of territory for the communications utility, and investigation of expansion options for the water utility. “We’ve already started to weave these strategies into our operations,” Huston said.

Huston said local control, reliability and safety, and investment in infrastructure have been key hallmarks of Muscatine’s public utility service, dating to the establishment of the water utility in 1900.

The board also approved the 2021 budgets for the electric, water, and communications utilities that were reviewed during the Oct. 27 board meeting.