Library filed under Transmission from Iowa
HAMPTON | At least a few participants came to Tuesday morning's meeting exuding hostility toward the proposed Rock Island Clean Line overhead transmission line.
Grundy County farmer Ted Junker, and several of his neighbors, want nothing to do with Clean Line on their property. He said construction would compact the soil and create barriers he’d have to farm around forever. “We’re really not interested in having a power line near our property at all. And there’s no dollar amount I’d say let’s do it.”
Opponents organized in July as the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance. According to documents filed with the utilities board, the nonprofit group claims it represents more than 100 landowners. Its website address suggests the group's main aim: iowastopRICL.com. The alliance's attorneys are encouraging landowners to press Clean Line's hand. The goal is to make Clean Line's "row very much harder to hoe."
Clean Line Energy of Texas wants to build a high voltage DC power line across northern Iowa and into Illinois to pipe electricity from Iowa’s wind farms to a number of eastern states. To move forward with the project, the company either has to negotiate easements with property owners or gain control of their land through eminent domain.
"To say that we just have to farm around the poles, that's not totally true," said Merrill. "When the corn is high enough and you get bugs in it and can't get machinery over it to spray, the last couple of years we've used airplanes to spray and you can't do that with a power line" nearby.
Opponents of proposals to build a multistate line from Iowa east of the Mississippi River to bring wind-generated electricity to large urban markets have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reconsider its decision last month to allow the cost of such lines - estimated to be as high as $20 billion, to be spread to end users rather than borne entirely by the builders of the line.
A non-public meeting with local government and development leaders in Webster County will be held Dec. 8 in Fort Dodge as the first stage in determining if a new electric transmission system can be routed through or near this county. Clean Line Energy Partners is planning to construct 500 miles of new high voltage direct current transmission line across Iowa.
"Resistance from some Eastern states, Massachusetts in particular, has become stronger and stronger," said Stanley, part of a working group of 39 state energy and utility regulators. Easterners have made it clear that Iowa and the Midwest can build all the transmission it wants, so long as it pays all the costs. Midwesterners beg to differ.
The MidAmerican/AEP proposal is the only wind transmission plan. ITC Holdings of Michigan, which owns and operates Alliant Energy's transmission sysstem in Iowa, already as preliminary approval from federal regulators to approach investors about a similar line from the Dakotas through Iowa across the Mississippi River to serve urban markets to the east.
The transmission corridors would be built over a number of years, the report said and would provide a way to move 15,000 megawatts of new power from wind farms to the markets where the power would be consumed. It would serve as a backbone for future wind energy developments.
If you're interested in wind energy and its implications for Iowa and the Midwest, best to keep an eye this week on a decision by the federal government about a wind project off the Atlantic coast opposite Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Aller, the top executive of Alliant subsidiary Interstate Power, also has to explain why his customers will pay as much as 50 percent more for power than fellow Iowans who are MidAmerican customers if the latest rate increase is approved by the Iowa Utilities Board.
The city of Ames plans to reapply next month to the Iowa Utilities Board for approval to build a high-voltage transmission line to an electrical substation in northeast Ankeny.