Press Releases

Press Releases
May. 29, 2020

Clean Grid Alliance and Iowa Environmental Council Applaud Approval of Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line

DES MOINES (May 29, 2020) -- The Iowa Utilities Board issued an order this week approving the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line. This line will enable thousands of megawatts of clean, low-cost, renewable energy to access the electric grid.

As a regional organization that works to advance renewable energy in the Midwest, Clean Grid Alliance Regional Policy Manager and Attorney Sean Brady responded, saying, “Clean Grid Alliance applauds the Iowa Utility Board for their leadership in approving this important infrastructure project. Cardinal-Hickory Creek is the last of the MISO Multi-Value Projects to receive approval out of the 17 total lines. This decision is great news for Iowa and the Upper Midwest, which has been facing significant curtailment of renewable resources in recent years. Actual wind capacity in Iowa as of July 2019 is more than double MISO’s 2010 estimate of 4,650 MW by 2026, proving that ‘if you build it, they will come.’  A robust grid will provide Iowans with service reliability, save millions in upgrades for ratepayers, and provide economic benefits to the state. The cost of wind power has declined 70 percent in the last decade and Cardinal Hickory Creek is vital to enable over 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy into the electric grid.”

Iowa Environmental Council Energy Program Director Kerri Johannsen added the following statement: “The Iowa Utility Board’s approval of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line is a big step in the right direction in part for renewable energy in Iowa and the Midwest. The MISO Multi-Value Projects were designed in part to enable expansion of wind energy, which is now the lowest-cost electricity resource available in the Midwest.

“In addition to low-cost energy, expansion of wind in Iowa will grow the $69 million in annual land lease payments to farmers and $61 million in tax revenue to local governments that has resulted from wind development to date. The Council and our partners looked carefully at considerations around siting given the sensitive Mississippi River crossing. This line was located with environmental considerations in mind and we support the chosen route as best to deliver Iowa wind to market along with the environmental benefits of increasing access to clean energy.” 

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Clean Grid Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that works to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. Its members are comprised of wind, solar and storage developers, environmental organizations, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups, and businesses providing goods and services to the wind and solar industries. Learn more at cleangridalliance.org.

The Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) is an alliance of diverse organizations and individuals working together to protect Iowa's natural environment. Founded in 1995, it is the largest and most comprehensive environmental coalition in the state. Through education, advocacy and coalition building, the Council raises awareness, generates action and creates large-scale change that makes Iowa a better place to live, work and explore. Learn more at iaenvironment.org.