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Transfer of power

By Staff | Nov 26, 2010

FORT?DODGE – On Dec. 8, a non-public meeting with local government and development leaders in Webster County will be held as the first stage in determining if a new electric transmission system can be routed through this county.

At issue is Clean Line Energy Partners, based in Houston, Texas, that is planning to construct a 500-mile high voltage direct current transmission line across Iowa. The project is called Rock Island Clean Line and could possibly follow the former Rock Island Railroad corridor.

According to Hans Detweiler, CLEP’s director of development, the intent is to spur additional wind energy farm creation in Northwest Iowa, Northeast Nebraska and Southwest South Dakota.

CLEP’s website (www.cleanlineenergy.com) said there is a potential of erecting 2,000 new wind turbines, creating 3,500 megawatts of power to be transferred from near Sioux City to Rock Island, Ill., and onward to supply power to Chicago and farther east.

Detweiler said this is the start of a four-phase, six-year development plan.

He added that the slow growth of wind energy in the Midwest is due to a slow economy, but also to a lack of an efficient transmission of power to areas that need it.

John Kramer, president of the Development Corporation of Fort Dodge and Webster County, said this could also be a local boon.

Kramer said if the HVDC line passes through the county, it could create a wind farm in Webster County.

He estimated that the county tax base could grow by as much as $1,800 annually per turbine.

“These are great property tax payers,”?Kramer said.

Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141, Ext. 453 or kersh@farm-news.com.

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