Rock Island Clean Line Dealt Procedural Setback

electric power poleNorthwest Iowa — A Proposed $2-billion electrical transmission line that would start in northwest Iowa, and transport electricity produced by wind turbines to a converter near Chicago, has run into a roadblock from the Iowa Utilities Board.

In a 3-0 vote earlier this week the IUB voted  to reject a request by Clean Line Energy Partners to break the case into two separate hearings.  The vote upheld the Board’s earlier ruling that it will decide whether to approve the Rock Island Clean Line, as well as whether to grant the use of Eminent Domain in a single hearing.

Rock Island Clean Line had argued that a single hearing would require them to invest several million dollars acquiring land with no guarantee that the project would receive IUB approval.

Groups representing union workers, along with wind energy supporters have backed Rock Island Clean Line’s request to split the case into two parts, but the Board declined, stating that it would be inconvenient for landowners fighting the project who would have to attend two hearings that would have some overlap.

The IUB is the final regulatory agency that needs to sign off on the Rock Island Clean Line, which the company projects would produce enough electricity to power almost 1-1/2 million homes in the midwest.

The line is proposed to start in northwest Iowa and send electricity produced by wind turbines to a converter station near Chicago.

The project has already received the approval of the State of Illinois and the federal government.