Red Rock hydroelectric wins DFI’s 2021 Outstanding Project Award

Red Rock hydro

The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) announced that the winner of the 2021 DFI Outstanding Project Award is the team of Stantec (engineer), Ames Construction (general contractor), Case-Bencor JV (Keller; foundation), Missouri River Energy Services (owner), Rembco Geotechnical Contractors (grouting), and Schnabel Geostructural Design & Construction (anchor).

The team is being recognized for the ingenuity of its design in modifying Red Rock Dam on the Des Moines River in Iowa into a 55-MW hydroelectric facility. The award will be presented during the DFI 46th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, Oct. 12-15, 2021.

Among the geotechnical and other challenges the Red Rock team overcame was constructing a new intake channel, penstocks that carry water to the turbines, and a powerhouse — directly adjacent to the existing dam’s spillway. To maintain the dam’s integrity during construction, extensive water- and earth-retention systems, prescriptive construction staging, and a robust dam safety surveillance program were used. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ facility near Pella, Iowa, will generate 178,000 MWh of electricity annually. The key foundation elements and excavation features included diaphragm walls, deep excavations and treatment of solutioned gypsum deposits.

This award was established in 1997 to recognize the superior work of DFI members. A committee selects the projects based on size, scope and challenges; degree of innovation and ingenuity exercised; and uniqueness of the solution to the difficulties of the job.

DFI is an international association of contractors, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, academics and owners in the deep foundations industry.

Brent Moeller with Missouri River Energy Services discussed the Red Rock construction project during our May HYDRO+ virtual series.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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