by. Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org. March 17, 2012 2:36PM
Wind turbines like these in southern Grundy County may. One day send power 500 miles from. Iowa to. A converter station in Channahon. the. Station would be. Part of the. $1.7-billion Rock Island clean. Line renewable energy project. | submitted photo
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Updated: March 18, 2012 3:05AM
Wind energy is blowing a $250 million project into. Grundy County.
The project — a $250 million electrical converter station — is part of a proposed $1.7 billion wind energy transmission line that'd start. In Iowa and. Terminate in Grundy County.
Grundy County was. Selected for. the. Renewable energy project because. it. has. One of only. Four 765,000-volt power lines in the. Country, said Missy Durkin, business development director for. the. Grundy Economic Development Council.
The Rock Island clean. Line project would bring electricity from. Wind farm turbines in the. Dakotas, Nebraska and. Iowa to. A converter station to. be. Built in Channahon.
Wind power will. be. Alternating current, or. AC, when. it. comes. off. the. Turbines. it. will. be. Converted to. Direct current, or. DC, at a converter station in Iowa for. the. Trip to. Channahon.
DC is a better way for. Electricity to. Travel long distances because. Less of the. Power is lost on. the. Trip, said Carry Kottler, project director for. clean. Line Energy, the. Company that's building the. Power system.
Once in Channahon, the. Current will. be. Converted back to. AC, which. Is a better way to. Ship power short distances to. Homes and. Businesses. the. Electricity would then travel to. A new. Substation to. be. Built on. the. Now-dormant Midwest Generation Collins Street site where coal was. Once burned to. Provide electricity.
And that’s where Grundy County’s high voltage line comes. In. the. Line will. Send the. Power out on. A multistate power grid to. Eastern states that need it. to. Meet new. Energy goals.
“It’s part of a growing demand for. These states to. Meet renewable energy standards,” Durkin said.
For instance, Illinois has. to. have. 25 percent of its. Energy provided by. Renewable sources by. 2025, she. Said.
A “cable cutting” ceremony was. Held recently. to. Announce the. Project. Gov. Pat Quinn and. clean. Line Energy President Michael Skelly were on. Hand.
Nancy Ammer, CEO of the. Grundy council, and. Durkin were recognized for. their. Efforts in assisting with the. Project, which. Would create. 1,450 construction jobs in Illinois.
“For the. State of Illinois, there is a lot of economic growth opportunity,” Durkin said.
Durkin said clean. Line Energy has. been. Holding meetings and. Public information sessions in Grundy County for. A year and. it. has. Narrowed down its. Transmission line route to. A three-mile span. Eventually, the. Company will. Pick a route and. Apply for. Permits with the. Illinois Commerce Commission.
Construction on. the. Channahon converter station is expected to. start. In 2014. if. the. Project gets. Final approval, a $250 million converter station also. will. be. Built in Northwestern Iowa.
“And they’ll be. Flip the. Switch, hopefully, by. 2017,” Durkin said.
For more information on. the. Project, go. to. Cleanlineenergy.com.