Recently, the IFB Board of Directors voted to oppose the Rock Island Clean Line
project proposed by Clean Line Energy, based in Houston, Texas.
The firm wants to build a 500-mile-long high voltage, direct-current transmission line from western Iowa through Rock Island County across to Grundy County, where it proposes to build a conversion station.
IFB filed to intervene in the Clean Line case before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), said Rae Payne, IFB senior director of business and regulatory affairs.
“Clean Line is a private limited-liability company. IFB doesn’t feel the company should be granted public utility status or eminent domain authority,” Payne explained.
Clean Line wants to build the transmission line to move wind-generated, direct-current electricity from states west of Illinois. The electricity would have to be converted to alternating current (AC) for consumer use.
Some county Farm Bureaus held landowner meetings to discuss the proposal and more are anticipated.
Presentations will cover landowners’ legal rights and information they should know before they consider signing an easement agreement, Payne added.
If Clean Line receives a permit to construct, IFB wants the company to be required to use single-pole structures that have a smaller footprint than lattice-type structures.
If the ICC approves the project, the power line should be constructed adjacent to Interstate 80 and not diagonally cross open farmland, according to IFB. The ICC will determine the final route.
Farmland owners in Rock Island, Whiteside, Henry, Bureau, LaSalle, and Grundy counties strongly oppose the project.
The company has not yet directly contacted landowners along the project route about easement agreements, but is expected to do so, Payne added.
Clean Line also is proposing a similar transmission line, dubbed Grain Belt Express
, which would cross South-Central Illinois from Pike County to Clark County. A conversion station is proposed either for Clark County or across the state line into Indiana. The company has not yet filed a petition on that project with the ICC.
Payne advised county Farm Bureau members to contact their county Farm Bureau offices with any questions about the project and to attend landowner meetings sponsored by the county Farm Bureau.
He also recommended landowners go to the Rock Island Clean Line
website at to learn more about the proposed project and view the ICC filing.