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Muscatine Power and Water adds new power transmission line for blackout prevention, renewable energy

The new, third power line will be a part of the area's wider solar power project and help prevent blackouts in severe situations.

MUSCATINE, Iowa — For the first time in almost four decades, Muscatine Power and Water added a new transmission line to its system.

The $15.5 million project is meant to bring a consistent energy supply to Muscatine; an area that currently has two power transmission lines running north and south next to each other 

"If we lose that line to the south, like with a tornado, it's likely we could lose both of those lines at the same time," said Ryan Streck, Director of Utility Service Delivery. "So this one not only allows us to bring more power in, but we have a separate path; it actually comes from the Quad Cities. So that way, if something would happen down south, our coal generation's offline, we can still bring all the power and we need through this new transmission line."

The new transmission line will also support a brand new multimillion-dollar solar power project. 

"This line is actually part of a bigger power in the future strategy for MPW," said MPW General Manager Gage Guston. "Another big piece of that is a large solar garden project that we're working on in the south part of Muscatine. It's going to be about a 24-megawatt solar project that would go on about 250 acres of land. One of the great things about that is we're going to be using our existing wellfield property. So we're not taking good high-quality farming land out of the system to put that project in, and that will allow us to significantly increase our renewable production and reduce our environmental impact."

The solar garden project is expected to complete in 2025. 

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