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RICL offers insights into its project

By Staff | Apr 25, 2014

Iowa is home to some of the best wind energy resources in the nation and has been building a manufacturing and educational foundation to foster the growth of all aspects of the wind energy industry.

Overall, Iowa is the No. 3 producer of wind energy in the nation. Wind turbines have come a long way in improved performance, and currently Iowa wind farms will typically generate energy upward of 90 percent of the time.

Wind energy development in Iowa is, however, being restricted by the lack of transmission infrastructure. We need a way to export our wind resource – just as we export corn, soybeans, eggs and hogs across the nation and around the globe.

The Rock Island Clean Line is a proposed electric transmission line that will begin in O’Brien County and deliver 3,500 megawatts of clean wind power to Illinois and beyond.

This project represents a $2 billion investment and will enable an additional $7 billion worth of wind energy development.

The line and resulting wind development are expected to generate about 5,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs.

The project will provide low-cost power to about 1.4 million homes each year and will not increase electricity costs for Iowans, as it is not to be funded by Iowa rate payers.

Our team has spent four years and held hundreds of meetings across the state developing this project.

We have spoken with landowners one-on-one and gained invaluable feedback.

At recent public meetings we shared our construction management plan, damage mitigation practices and landowner compensation package.

As an example of our compensation package, a landowner in Grundy County with an easement on his or her property that is half-mile long by 145 feet wide with two single-foundation structures can expect to be compensated with about $115,000.

After receiving landowner feedback, we are offering both one-time and annual structure payments witha two percent annual escalator.

This compensation package reflects our strong commitment to treating landowners fairly and consistently.

As we move forward and continue to negotiate voluntary easements with landowners, we welcome additional comments and questions.

Further transmission and wind development in the Midwest is critical to our country’s energy future.

The Rock Island Clean Line will serve as a farm-to-market road for the 21st century.

More information on the project is available at www.RockIslandCleanLine.com.

Beth Conley, manager

Rock Island Clean Line

Des Moines

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