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Red Rock Hydroelectric Project

Generating 55 MW of clean renewable energy for generations to come

  • 55MW

    Of Total, Clean, Energy Production

  • 6,260

    Feet Overall Length

  • 2

    Identical Kaplan Turbine-Generators

  • Pella, Iowa

    Pella, Iowa

Powering up an existing dam

Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) was seeking a way to add hydroelectric power to the existing US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Red Rock Dam on the Des Moines River near Pella, Iowa. The 110-foot-high, 6,260-foot-long dam was originally constructed in the 1960s for flood control and recreation purposes.

The project seemed straightforward—punch a hole in a perfectly good dam and use water coming through to power generators to make electricity. However, some challenges arose as the project went on. As the owner’s engineer and designer of record for the new hydroelectric project, we were there from start to finish.

The conversion itself required extensive water and earth-retention systems to maintain the integrity of the existing flood control dam, including excavations up to 70 feet (21 metres) deep on the upstream and downstream sides of the existing dam and modifications to convey water from the reservoir to a new powerhouse.

The new powerhouse features two identical vertical Kaplan turbine-generators rated at 28 megawatts each. During a conceptual project review, our team evaluated the layout the original developer had included in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license application. Based on this review, we revised the layout to address constructability issues and improve project performance.

The result? A hydroelectric dam that will provide clean, renewable power for the next 100 years. 

At a Glance

  • Missouri River Energy Services
Power Magazine, Top Plant Awards, 2021
Deep Foundations Institute, Outstanding Project Award, 2021
Post Tensioning Institute, Award of Merit, 2021
Meet Our Team

Rachael Bisnett, Principal

Say yes to opportunities and ask questions. You’ll learn something—and there’s always a chance to stumble into something you love!

Thomas Andrews, Vice President, Energy

We get the opportunity to really dive into projects that allow us to push the boundaries and solve unique and complex challenges.

Joseph Huang, Principal, Architect

We share the latest design technologies—from reality capture to virtual reality—and help people to apply these tools on their projects.

Hannah Reybrock, Geological Engineer in Training

I have a passion for geology and engineering that I like to combine to help support water projects.
Hannah Reybrock Geological Engineer in Training Read More

Rachael Bisnett


Thomas Andrews

Vice President, Energy

Joseph Huang

Principal, Architect

Hannah Reybrock

Geological Engineer in Training

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