GALESBURG — Galesburg and Peoria representatives will have the chance next week to learn about a proposed transmission line intended to connect the two cities and create up to 100 jobs in the process.
Proposed by Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois — a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation — the Spoon River Transmission Line Project will create a 345,000-volt transmission line connecting Peoria and Galesburg, according to a news release.
The project, which is part of a Multi-Value Project, was approved in 2011 by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, said Peggy Ladd in transmission stakeholder relations.
“It’s gone through all the planning stages as far as ‘Do we need this project?” Ladd said. “What we don’t know is the route — how the transmission line is going to get from point A to point B.”
For that purpose, two invitation-only focus group workshops are being held for the transmission company to collect topographical information from specific people in Peoria and Galesburg.
The Galesburg workshop will be Wednesday. The focus group in Peoria will meet Tuesday.
Representatives who are knowledgeable about their communities are the target audience, Ladd said. For example, they would include those who work on the roads, county commissioners and farm bureau members, among others.
Each workshop will include a presentation about the project, a mapping exercise and an opportunity to fill out input surveys.
“We want to know where there’s going to be an expansion of a highway or a new strip mall,” Ladd offered as examples. “Maybe an airport is expanding a runway … it wouldn’t be good to put a transmission line at the end of a runway, so those kinds of things are good to know.”
The project has yet to have an established timeline as the route selection process needs to be completed first.
Ladd said the improvement in the transmission network will benefit the public through lower congestion costs and better access to cost-effective generation. There will be good news specific to Peoria and Galesburg as she estimated there would be 100 new jobs created throughout the project’s duration.
While the workshops are not open to the public, Ladd said once the necessary information is gathered, open meetings will be scheduled, most likely in the spring.

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