Just as Iowa leads the nation in producing and exporting corn, soybeans, eggs and hogs, we also can lead the nation in wind energy. Iowa has enough wind energy to meet the needs of our state 44 times over. That’s why we need to support new infrastructure, such as the Rock Island Clean Line transmission project, to allow Iowa to export this burgeoning crop.
As a supporter of the Rock Island Clean Line, I would like to respond to Tami Zumbach’s Nov. 19 letter “Clean Line isn’t telling whole story.”
The Rock Island Clean Line is a $2 billion transmission investment that will spur many more billions in new wind farm development in Iowa. It will create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs to build and operate the transmission line and the resulting wind farms.
Communities hosting the transmission line, in addition to those with the wind farms, will receive tax revenues that will support local governments and rural schools. And, landowners will be compensated fairly to have this energy infrastructure on their property.
In addition, Iowa is a hub for wind energy manufacturers. These businesses are building the blades, structures and components for wind turbines and transmission structures. The Rock Island Clean Line will give these companies a tremendous boost.
The Rock Island Clean Line will enable Iowa to grow its wind energy industry and continue to lead the country as a renewable energy pioneer. I encourage you to consider the positive impacts of this project.
Harold D. Prior
Iowa Wind Energy Association