Unfortunately, BigWind blows EAST (toward Ohio!)

If this route becomes a reality, do you think BigWind will stop along the Indiana line? Of course not, they will want to connect the dots between industrial wind sites. Rural Ohio may never be the same…

The windy plains of Kansas could be a treasure trove in the nations effort to harness clean energy, but a major proposal to move wind-generated electricity eastward is running into a roadblock: Farmers who dont want high-power transmission lines on their land.

Clean Line Energy Partners wants to spend $2.2 billion to build a 750-mile-long high-voltage overhead transmission line. Towers 110 to 150 feet tall, 4-6 per mile, would carry lines with power generated by Kansas modernistic windmill turbines through sparsely populated northern Missouri, through the cornfields of Illinois and to a substation in Sullivan, Ind. The exact route has not been finalized….

Yet many landowners have organized in opposition to Clean Line. They worry about whether the towers and lines will reduce property values, get in the way of farming operations like crop-dusting and irrigation, and even create health risks for those living so close to high-voltage wires.

“This is some of our best ground,” said Kent Dye, 56, who farms about 7,000 acres in northeast Missouri’s Monroe County. “This line — there’s no proven need for it. There are no contracts to provide power, no contracts to sell on the other end.”

Then there are property rights issues. Clean Line filed an application with the Missouri Public Service Commission in January for approval to operate as a public utility, a move that would grant eminent domain rights. Similar approval would be needed in Illinois. Clean Line already operates as a public utility in Kansas and Indiana.

Many along the route worry that a private company could simply take over land that in some cases has been in families for generations.

“We have sacrificed everything for this land,” said Jennifer Gatrel, 33, who, along with her husband, Jeff, farms a 430-acre cattle ranch in western Missouri. “We don’t go on vacation. We don’t go out to eat. Everything we have is tied up in this land. The idea that somebody can come in and take it from us is appalling and it goes against what it is to be an American.”…

via Transmission lines planned to move wind energy east from Kansas faces opposition from farmers | Star Tribune.

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