West Riverside Energy Center

Posted By: Todd Young Awards ,

2021 Engineering Excellence Best of State

Entering Firm: HDR
Client: Alliant Energy

Alliant Energy needed a new power plant that would meet their goal of transitioning to a cleaner energy future. They developed an ambitious plan to replace older plants and replace them with a plant that could power 550,000 homes.

Modern Energy Generation

HDR worked closely with the company to achieve that vision. The new plant uses natural gas which is cleaner than other fossil fuels. By using cutting edge two-on-one cycle technology, the plant is also more efficient which reduces waste energy. The team created a complex system that would reuse wastewater, collect more stormwater and store additional water on site. All these changes mean that the facility uses 90% less water than similarly sized plants elsewhere and saves over 70,000 gallons of freshwater a year. These improvements resulted in the project being awarded the first Envision Platinum designation in Wisconsin.

Caring for the Environment

The plant itself does not occupy the entirety of its lot. The team saw an opportunity to repurpose the rest of the lot to help the environment. The plant does not occupy the lot's entirety. The design team seized the opportunity to restore 67 acres of land and improve the biodiversity in the area. A nature path snakes through the natural prairie providing outdoor recreation for residents.

Awards judge Jerry Deschane said “This project defines what it means to be both energy- and environmentally-conscious. This is something we can all be proud of."

A Model for Future Power Plants

The new energy center incorporates a wide range of energy-conscious solutions and the end result makes a big difference. These innovations deliver on Alliant Energy’s goal to become more environmentally friendly and serve as a blueprint for other power plants.

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