To the editor,
As a manager with the Rock Island Clean Line, I feel it is imperative that folks are accurately informed about the benefits and impacts of our project.
A July 18 CommStock Report, authored by David Kruse, contains several matters that I would like to address.
It is true that the easements we seek are permanent and exclusive. This simply means that we are obtaining the right to own and operate this specific transmission line on the property.
We are not purchasing the property. We do not have the right to build or operate any additional transmission lines, pipelines, or the like on the property at any time.
Our compensation package is robust and equates to more than 100 percent of the fair market value of the land.
Both an easement payment and one-time or annual structure payments are offered.
Annual payments stay with the land, meaning they can be passed down from generation to generation.
Additionally, we offer a 2 percent escalator to the annual structure payments – to account for inflation.
A typical landowner with a half-mile of line on his property, and two structures, would receive over $100,000, while retaining ownership of the property.
We are currently in the process of meeting with landowners and acquiring these voluntary easements, and, in fact, have not filed for a franchise or the right to use eminent domain with the Iowa Utilities Board.
This easement acquisition process is extensive, and we want to be sure we are taking the time necessary to accurately answer and address landowners’ questions and comments before moving forward.
Above all, we are committed to treating landowners fairly throughout this process. This project would provide enough energy to power 1.4 million homes annually.
Lots of power plants are retiring and need to be replaced to maintain our nation’s electric supply. This energy is needed.
I would like to think that Mr. Kruse’s grandchildren will look at the Rock Island Clean Line 30 years from now and see the benefits of having allowed clean, renewable wind energy to flow from northwest Iowa to their neighbors in areas of the country where this energy is needed.
I strongly encourage landowners to build a complete understanding of our project from credible and trusted sources, as it represents great strides forward for both renewable energy and for Iowa’s economy.
To learn more, visit: www.rockislandcleanline.com.
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