Another step forward from the company that has proposed construction of a new transmission line through Iowa to export electricity generated by Iowa wind turbines to Chicago and points east of there.
The Rock Island Clean Line has filed paperwork with the Iowa Utilities Board, asking for a transmission franchise in Iowa. The company’s transmission line would stretch through 16 counties in Iowa. State utility regulators are being asked to approve the company’s proposed route.
Governor Branstad’s economic development director has hailed the project, saying it shows how wind energy can be a valuable Iowa export. Rock Island Clean Line officials previously announced Sabre Industries in Sioux City will make the support structures for the transmission line.
Some landowners along the route through Iowa have raised concerns about the project. The company will be allowed to use eminent domain to seize property if negotiations with property owners for easement rights fail. A bill that would have set up a new appeal process for those landowners stalled in the Iowa House this past year.
The preferred route for the 500-mile-long transmission line would start in northwest Iowa’s O’Brien County and would exit on the east side of the state in Scott County, just north of the Quad Cities. The entire project’s cost is estimated to be $2 billion.