Details about the proposed Clean Line Energy electric transmission line across Iowa were shared Monday morning with the Wright County Supervisors.
Beth Conley of Clean Line Energy updated the board on the plan to cross Wright County with a high voltage, direct current transmission line. The company is based in Houston, TX and has an office in Des Moines.
Conley said, “Northwest and north central Iowa have the best resources for wind energy, but you don’t have the transmission grid here to move it to the areas of greatest demand.”
The large power line will cover 500 miles, 375 of those in Iowa. The $2 billion project would collect energy from wind turbines and send it over AC transmission lines to a converter station near Primghar in O’Brien County. The station would change the electricity from AC to DC, and then send the power over the new DC wires to another converter station in Illinois. There the power would be changed back to AC current for normal distribution to homes and businesses.
“We can send three times the power generated by the Hoover Dam,” said Conley. “It’s more efficient to send it as direct current, and the footprint of a DC system is one-third that of alternating current lines. We use only four to seven poles per mile. We’re going through rural areas, trying to avoid cities and towns along the way.” She said the company hopes to have the final route ready by sometime in early 2013, followed by public meetings and application to the Iowa Utilities Board.
Conley was asked about payments to landowners where the power lines are to be placed. She said she couldn’t give actual amounts, but there would be a one-time payment for the easement along with a choice of annual payments or an up-front payment for the pole. There would also be a payment for any crop damage. “What I can tell you is that property tax revenue will be $7,000 per mile, per year which will be divided among any taxing entities we cross.”
The supervisors gave their support to the project.
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