Regulators suspend review of $2B transmission line that would ship Iowa wind power to Illinois

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Regulators are suspending review of a proposed 500-mile, $2 billion transmission line that would take electricity produced by wind turbines in northwest Iowa to Illinois customers.

Rock Island Clean Line LLC said Thursday it asked the Iowa Utilities Board to pause a technical review of the project while it assesses how to move forward. The board has granted the request.

The project faces opposition from rural landowners. It was dealt a setback in February, when the board said it would decide whether to approve the project and whether to grant eminent domain in the same hearing. The developer had asked to separate those issues.

The company says the ruling means it must spend millions of dollars to acquire property while running the risk the project will ultimately be rejected.