Des Moines, Iowa — The review of a wind energy transmission line that is supposed to start in O’Brien County has been put on hold. The line is supposed to cost two billion dollars and it would run 500 miles from O’Brien County to Scott County, Iowa.
Officials representing the proposed line, known as the Rock Island Clean Line have requested that the Iowa Utilities Board — or IUB — staff stop actively reviewing the franchise petitions for the proposed electric transmission line. No hearing date has been established.
The project suffered a setback when the IUB decided in February that they would hold one hearing instead of two to decide if the project could proceed, and whether the company could use eminent domain. The company said that meant they could end up buying millions of dollars of property, only to have the project rejected by the IUB.
If the project takes place, it is supposed to include a 250-million dollar station near Sanborn, where it would convert electricity from alternating to high-voltage direct current and send it down the line.
O’Brien County Economic Development Director Kiana Johnson has been working with project officials. She says they have basically put their application on hold. She says Rock Island Clean Line is essentially letting the Energy Transfer Partners crude oil pipline project application move before them for review with the IUB.
Johnson says it’s her opinion that this is a smart move for Rock Island to observe the process and the IUB ruling on the pipeline project. A decision on the crude oil pipeline is expected by the IUB by January.