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home : news : north central illinois   April 29, 2016

11/6/2013 5:53:00 AM
Opponents of utility line project confident of success

Kevin Caufield
NewsTribune Reporter

OTTAWA — It appears the grassroots effort to prevent Rock Island Clean Line from gaining eminent domain authority to construct a massive high-voltage transmission line through La Salle County and Illinois is gaining momentum among the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Paul Marshall, a Serena-are farmer and member of the Block RICL and Illinois Landowners Association group, reported a status update on the highly controversial power line project to La Salle County Board members during the board’s regular meeting Tuesday.
“(The ICC) doesn’t think the benefits will be nearly enough to outweigh the costs, and that’s even if there are any benefits to this,” Marshall said.
Clean Line Energy, based in Houston, Texas, intends to build Rock Island Clean Line, a 3,500-megawatt, 120-mile-long high-voltage transmission line that would take wind energy generated in Iowa and deliver it to a converter station in Grundy County.
The company needs Illinois Commerce Commission approval to become a public utility.
If that happens, the company will be given the authority of eminent domain to force rural property owners and others into selling their farm property to construct the massive transmission lines along a east-west path through northern La Salle County.
Marshall said the ICC is expected to resume hearings in December and could make a decision within six months. At that point, the losing party can file for appeal.
“At this point, RICL is facing an uphill battle,” Marshall said. “Key testimony submitted this year highlights major problems with the project.”

Kevin Caufield can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or

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