Library filed under Transmission from Iowa
The proposed 345-kilovolt line would run between Dubuque, Iowa, and a substation in Middleton along one of two routes that the utilities say would deliver low-cost wind energy from Iowa to population centers where the power is needed.
William Shay, the lead attorney for the alliance, said the court agreed with the Illinois Landowners Alliance, Farm Bureau and ComEd on the definition of public utility. "The Court noted that nothing stops Rock Island (Clean Line) from seeking to develop its project as a private facility, but it will not have public utility status, including the right to condemn landowner easements through eminent domain," he added.
A semi-trailer with the message “Stop RICL” sits in a field near Highway 20 approximately a mile east of Dike. The company behind the proposed transmission line recently announced that it is withdrawing its application for a franchise permit in Iowa while it awaits a legal challenge in Illinois.
Rock Island Clean Line withdrew its petition Thursday seeking permission from the Iowa Utilities Board to build an electric transmission line across Iowa — a move that the project's opponents hailed as a victory for state landowners.
Clean Line Energy Partners announced Thursday it is withdrawing its application to the Iowa Utilities Board to construct a transmission line across the state pending a court challenge to the project in Illinois.
The energy company has faced 4 years of fierce legal opposition led by the Illinois Landowners Alliance, the Illinois Farm Bureau, and ComEd. Clean Line Energy learned Nov. 23 of the high court’s decision to review the appellate court’s ruling. The company maintains that the project would bring low-cost clean energy, hundreds of good jobs, and revenue for communities in the project areas.
The bill passed on a 63 to 33 vote. Representative Vicki Lensing of Iowa City was among the Democrats who joined with Republicans to pass the bill. “I support jobs. I support economic development, but this is a private company coming in, wanting exceptions at the expense of private land owners.”
“We know of multiple individuals across Iowa who have 150-foot towers being contemplated to be built within 200 feet of their homes. To have that hanging over their heads year after year after year … is not something we believe is fair to Iowans.”
The board on Monday rejected the third request by Clean Line Energy Partners to split the case into two separate hearings.
As work on a wind-energy transmission line moves forward in other states, developers say the regulatory process in Iowa is holding back the project. The hotly debated Rock Island Clean Line, designed to ferry new wind energy from northwest Iowa to points east, is a fundamentally different type of transmission project[and] requires a fundamentally different sort of regulatory process.
In order to ensure your project moves forward — even without state approval — you have broadened your approach to include a federal legislative effort. Senate Energy Bill 1017 would grant eminent domain authority despite our state laws. Please understand the depth of staunch and unbending opposition we have to this concept. We are lobbying our Congressional and Senate delegation to prevent you from ever having that tool.
Backers of the proposed Rock Island Clean Line, a subsidiary of Houston-based Clean Line Energy Partners, asked the Iowa Utilities Board to put a hold on the technical review as the company determines the process for moving the project forward in Iowa, a Clean Line spokeswoman said Thursday. “The regulatory process in Iowa is unique because companies are required to complete right-of-way acquisition up front before the IUB has determined whether the project is in the public interest,” spokeswoman Sarah Bray said.
The war continues, but rural property owners are claiming a victory in what they see as a key battle against the Rock Island Clean Line's proposal to run an electric-power transmission system across the state.
“In our opinion, the RICL transmission line does not serve a public good in the state,” Sheridan said. “No electricity will be used in Iowa. They’re also promoting the development of thousands of wind turbines in western Iowa and South Dakota. If somebody wants to put a bunch of wind turbines on your land, it’s a personal choice. This is not a personal choice."
Vocal, vehement opposition from local farmers and landowners has put a $300 million Grundy County project on hold. It’s known as the Rock Island Clean Line Energy project, and it involves channeling 3,500 megawatts of wind energy from Iowa to Illinois through a series of above-ground transmission lines.
Landowners opposed to a 500-mile overhead electrical transmission line starting in O’Brien County continue to lobby for legislation aimed at slowing or stopping the project. At issue is the $2 billion Rock Island Clean Line, which would transport electricity generated from wind farms in Northwest Iowa and surrounding states to the Chicago area and other eastern points.
The RICL is a proposed 500-mile high-voltage transmission line designed to transport electrical power from wind-energy-dense states, including Iowa, to energy markets farther east. The proposed path would run from near Granville, Iowa, to near Morris, Ill., through the farm Crew said he has plowed for 44 years.
The bill, HF2056, would somewhat limit the company’s ability to use eminent domain to force landowners to let the lines cross their property. But lawmakers did drop one part of the proposed bill that would have required 25 percent of the energy carried on the high voltage line to stay in Iowa.
"We're already a net exporter of power so we understand that have an abundant resource and we understand we have a strong market and we want to connect those 2 these things up just like we do with our other commodities in the state," said Beth Conley, Clean Line Energy.
Three eastern Iowa legislators say they will co-sponsor bills to strengthen Iowans’ private property rights by limiting the taking of private property through the use of eminent domain to “public use” purposes. The target of their legislation is the Rock Island Clean Line, a $2 billion, 500-mile transmission line that would deliver wind en ergyin northwest Iowa