Fate of Rock Island Clean Line project still up in the air

The verdict is still out on a proposed wind energy project affecting landowners in Franklin County and 15 others across Iowa more than a year after it was first announced to the public.

     Rock Island Clean Line (RICL), a high voltage transmission line connecting northwest Iowa wind farms to outlets in Chicago and beyond, would traverse 375 miles through the heart of Iowa farmland en route to the Illinois border. Supporters highlight RICL's potential to create jobs and stimulate Iowa's economy, while opposing forces criticize the project for infringing on landowners rights in favor of corporate profit.

     The project must be granted franchise status by the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) before construction can start. RICL officials are hoping to apply to the IUB by the end of the year, and the company is currently in the process of obtaining voluntary land easements from property owners along the route. RICL would be able to obtain land easements via eminent domain if it’s granted franchise status. 

    Read the full article in the Sept. 3 edition of the Hampton Chronicle.