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Alliant Energy says Decorah Power has underestimated costs in its feasibility study

Posted: Mon, Feb 5, 2018 7:52 PM

Representatives from Alliant Energy got their turn before the Decorah City council Monday night.

Alliant Vice President of Iowa Operations Terry Kouba was joined by Concentric Energy Advisors consultant Ann Bulkley in presenting a side-by-side comparison of Alliant's feasibility study with Decorah Power's feasibility study.

Bulkley concluded Alliant's physical assets in Decorah are worth nearly $20 million--not the $5 million Decorah Power says they're worth.  She also said Decorah Power overestimated its projected sales--that the figure should be 81 million kilowatt hours, not 126 million per year.  Other costs also were much higher in the Alliant presentation, including a $51 million total for acquisition and start-up costs, compared with Decorah Power's figure of $7.6 million.

One point of contention between the two feasibility studies is that Decorah Power's covers the entire area fed by Alliant's Decorah substation--including some rural addresses.  Bulkley says the Iowa Utilities Board has limited previous municipal utilities to service areas within city limits.  She estimated that if the IUB again ruled this way for Decorah, there would be an additional $11 million in construction costs to separate the Alliant Energy customers from the municipal utility customers.