“As advocates highlight the urgency of expanding interstate transmission capacity in the wake of last month’s energy crisis in Texas, a novel Midwest project is facing delays, but not for the reasons that typically dog overhead power lines.
The Direct Connect Development Company is betting that the higher cost of burying its proposed transmission line along railroad corridors will be offset by the lack of expenses from dealing with legal and legislative challenges. So far, despite a handful of objections from neighbors, that bet appears to be paying off.
Instead, it’s another innovation that has led to the project’s delay.
The 350-mile Soo Green Renewable Rail line would originate in Mason City, Iowa, and go to Plano, Illinois. The 2,100-megawatt, 525-kilovolt direct current line would be buried underground following a Canadian Pacific railroad right of way, relieving it of the need to secure the right of way from private landowners or invoke eminent domain.
(DeVito, along with Direct Connect Vice President Raj Rajan, are volunteer board members of Fresh Energy, which publishes the Energy News Network.)”
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Lydersen, Kari. Energy News Network 26 March 2021.