Preferred and Alternative Routes in Illinois Identified
After more than two and a half years of work, the Rock Island routing team has identified preferred and proposed alternative routes for the Rock Island Clean Line transmission project in Illinois. During the routing process, we considered hundreds of different potential route segments and held hundreds of meetings throughout Iowa and Illinois to introduce the project and seek feedback on our routing options. In Illinois this effort included two rounds of public open house meetings, community round tables, and dozens of visits with government agencies, agricultural and conservation organizations, other stakeholders and the media.
Throughout this time, we have evaluated thousands of comments received from our outreach efforts and balanced an extensive list of routing criteria in order to choose a route that we believe will best minimize impacts to the surrounding area. Our routing criteria include common goals for transmission projects such as minimizing the number of homes within certain distances, and minimizing impact to state parks, natural areas, and historic areas, while also minimizing impacts of particular importance to agriculture such as impacts to center pivot irrigators or agricultural preservation areas. To learn more about our routing process, click here.
To view the preferred and proposed alternative routes click here.
Converter Station Counties Selected
The Rock Island Clean Line has selected converter station locations at both ends of the line, in Iowa and in Illinois. The converter station in Iowa will serve as a wind energy collection hub, changing incoming alternating current power from wind farms into direct current power. At the other end of the transmission line in Illinois, the second converter station will change the direct current power back into alternating current power, which then will be transmitted into the grid where it can be used by homes and businesses.
Wind Resource Converter Station (IA): After conducting multiple wind resource studies and technical analyses, Clean Line selected O'Brien County, Iowa, as the site for the windward converter station. O'Brien County is located in the heart of Iowa's best wind resources, many of which are undeveloped, and locating the converter station in this area will maximize the opportunity for new wind farm development.
Delivery Point Converter Station (IL): Our delivery converter station will be located in Grundy County, IL. Engineering studies have indicated the need to deliver the power as close as possible to the Collins substation, which is located in Grundy County.
The converter station for an HVDC transmission line looks similar to a typical electricity substation—with the addition of a building that holds the converter valves in an enclosed environment. The converter station will take up between 45 and 65 fenced acres.