In order to construct, operate and maintain the Rock Island Clean Line, regulatory approvals are needed at the state and federal levels.
In November 2014, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) unanimously approved an Order granting Rock Island Clean Line a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct and operate the Illinois portion of a new 500-mile direct current electric power line. In August 2016, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District overturned the ICC’s unanimous decision. In September 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court decision.
Rock Island Clean Line filed petitions with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) for electric transmission line franchises requesting approval to erect, maintain and operate an electric transmission line in 16 Iowa counties. In its petitions to the IUB, Rock Island formally requested approval of a route for the line.
In the fall of 2013, Rock Island held informational meetings in all 16 counties through which the proposed route crosses, and filed subsequent procedural motions at the IUB. Schedule delays in the regulatory process led Rock Island Clean Line to withdraw its petitions for electric transmission line franchise at the Iowa Utilities Board in December 2016.
In May 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted Clean Line Energy authority to negotiate rates and enter into contracts with customers for the Rock Island Clean Line.