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Green Power Express: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

STATUS:  In progress with opposition

TYPE: Transmission

OPPOSITION:  Citizens Energy Task Force

PROSPECTS:  Indeterminate

BACKGROUND:  Green Power Express is a $12 billion, 3,000-mile high-voltage transmission line across seven Midwestern states proposed by International Transmission Company (ITC).  The project’s purpose is to construct a transmission line that will bring wind-powered electricity from North Dakota to Chicago, Minneapolis and other metropolitan areas.  The seven states through which the Green Power Express will run are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  The proposal was unveiled in early 2009, and ITC hopes to finish construction by 2020.

Because the line will carry electricity generated from renewable energy, many groups that typically oppose overhead transmission lines have remained neutral.  However, the Citizens Energy Task Force, a coalition of neighbors and citizens, is opposing the project.  It argues that the power lines would interfere with bird migration, hurt tourism and damage the ecosystem.

The main delay the project has faced, however, came from rules for new, cross-state transmission lines in the Midwest which discourage investment in power lines not designed to meet an immediate need.  Green Power Express, which would presumably meet future renewable electricity needs, does not fit that description.  In April 2009, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allowed the project to proceed by approving rate incentives for the project.

SOURCES:  ITC: http://www.itctransco.com/projects/thegreenpowerexpress.html; http://www.itctransco.com/projects/thegreenpowerexpress/thegreenpowerexpress-faq.html; http://investor.itc-holdings.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=376643;
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/04/13/13greenwire-green-power-express-gains-federal-rate-incenti-10514.html;
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/business/39346527.html;
E&E News Daily: http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2009/02/12/archive/1; http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2009/04/13/archive/1; http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/2009/04/16/archive/3;
Citizens Energy Task Force: http://cetf.us/2009/03/12/351/;
Minnesota Public Radio: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/02/20/powerline_proposal/?rsssource=1

Last Updated:  December 6, 2010