- Clean Line Energy Partners LLC has filed plans for a $2 billion transmission line with Iowa regulators that would deliver 3,500 megawatts from northwest Iowa and the surrounding region to communities in Illinois and other states to the east.
- The 500-mile line, being developed by Clean Line subsidiary Rock Island Clean Line LLC, will need state approvals from regulators in Iowa and Illinois. In 2012, federal regulators authorized the project's sponsors to negotiate rates and enter into contracts with customers for the project.
- The project could enable approximately $7 billion of new renewable energy projects, backers believe, and they say renewable generators and utilities who purchase transmission capacity on the line will pay for usage of the Rock Island Clean Line.
Clean Line filed its application with the Iowa Utilities Board last week, telling regulators the clean, wind-generated electricity that the Rock Island Project will transport "will displace substantial amounts of other fossil fueled generation — generation that produces pollutants — and therefore result in substantial environmental and public health benefits for the region. ... the Rock Island Project will bring substantial economic benefits to Iowa and throughout the region."
The Sioux City Journal reported Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's (R) office is seeking additional information on the project.
Clean Line touted the employment benefits in its application, noting that Iowa businesses, particularly those involved in the project or in the wind energy industry, "will see increased demand for their products and services. ... Rock Island is working to develop supply arrangements with manufacturers and suppliers located in Iowa, of materials, equipment and other components that will be used in construction of the Rock Island Project."
The company said it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Sabre Tubular Structures, a division of Sabre Industries Inc. in Sioux City, Iowa, regarding the supply of tubular steel and lattice mast type transmission structures.