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Underground transmission lines in the mid-west, and utility infrastructure projects during a recession

image credit: ID 100896529 © Keightstudio | Dreamstime.com

Scrolling through my energy news feed yesterday, I came across this article highlighting a potential underground transmission project in the quad-cities area (Davenport and Bettendorf in southeastern Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in northwestern Illinois). Here are the key details: 

“This week, the company called, Soo Green HVDC Link ProjectCo, LLC and the Iowa Utilities Board are hosting a series of online, public meetings about the 350-mile proposal.”

“During the first webinar today, Neil Jones, Soo Green's Vice President of Real Estate, told property owners and others the project's main investor is from Denmark, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.”

“Canadian Pacific Railroad is a strategic partner in the proposal to install 220 miles of conduit and high voltage power lines in Iowa, along the tracks from Mason City to the Mississippi River.”

“Jones says only users will pay for the new power line.”

It’s interesting to see a project like this announced right now, and it got me thinking about what transmission projects will look like following COVID-19. On one hand, cash-strapped governments and companies will be hard pressed to come up with the capital to fund such initiatives. However, infrastructure projects are one of the most popular treatments for bad economies, and our economy is going to be real ugly for a while. What better way to address unemployment than hiring men and women to build the modern power lines we desperately need to maintain power reliability, protect our cities from fires, and accommodate clean energy? 


 

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