Rock Island

State regulators have suspended a review of a proposed $2 billion interstate electric transmission line at the request of developers.

Backers of the proposed Rock Island Clean Line, a subsidiary of Houston-based Clean Line Energy Partners, asked the Iowa Utilities Board to put a hold on the technical review as the company determines the process for moving the project forward in Iowa, a Clean Line spokeswoman said Thursday.

“The regulatory process in Iowa is unique because companies are required to complete right-of-way acquisition up front before the IUB has determined whether the project is in the public interest,” spokeswoman Sarah Bray said.

The Iowa Utilities Board has granted the request and is not actively reviewing the franchise petition, which was filed in November 2014.

Donald Tormey, spokesman for the IUB, said the project has been on hold for some time. The company requested the pause in review in May or June, but there is not a formal process to do so, so there was no official notice needed or given by the IUB, he said.

The 500-mile line would transmit 3,500 megawatts of wind energy from wind farms in northwest Iowa to customers in Illinois. The project calls for erecting towers to carry high-voltage overhead lines diagonally across the state through 1,540 parcels of land in 16 Iowa counties, including Linn.

Full story here.

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