Iowa electric co-op leaders are in San Diego this week for the annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Coop Association. Ken Hastings is vice president of the board at Midland Power, which serves north central Iowa. Hastings says one topic this week will be the possibility of an “electric price explosion” caused by a lack of power lines — in spite of new energy sources.Hastings says the state’s getting a lot of capacity in wind generation, but needs to transmit all that power…and he thinks there isn’t the network in place to handle that, as well as power from new generating stations like the one going up in Council Bluffs. Hastings says recent opposition to added lines between Council Bluffs and Des Moines is an example of how rural areas could be setting themselves up for supply trouble as well as higher prices. Hastings says when utilities tried to get rights to high-power line routes from Council Bluffs to Des Moines, they had to go down the same path as other transmission lines — not good, he says, if a storm or something takes down one set of lines. Hastings says considering the opposition to powerline sites between Des Moines and Council Bluffs he thinks electric providers will likely need help from government to add more lines, along with better public perception in rural communities. He says they get the most complaints from rural areas, and says people who begin with a “Not in my back yard” attitude don’t change their minds as time goes on.
You are here: / / Coops worry about availability of power lines