As Executive Director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association and a supporter of the Rock Island Clean Line, I would like to respond to the letter submitted by Ms. Hartwig (“Pakistan financial aid, clean energy company raise questions,” Monday, Oct. 28, 2013).
Just as Iowa leads the nation in producing and exporting corn, soybeans, eggs, and hogs, we can also lead the nation in wind energy. Iowa has enough wind energy to meet the needs of our state 44 times over. That’s why we need to support new infrastructure, like the Rock Island Clean Line transmission project, to allow Iowa export this resource.
The Rock Island Clean Line is a $2 billion transmission investment that will spur wind farm development in Iowa. It will create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs to build and operate the transmission line and the resulting wind farms. Commercial buildings to house operations and maintenance personnel will be built in the small towns near the new wind farms. Communities hosting the transmission line, in addition to those with wind farms, will receive tax revenues that will support local governments and rural schools. Landowners will be compensated fairly for this infrastructure on their property.
The Rock Island Clean Line will enable Iowa to grow its wind energy industry and continue to lead the country as a renewable energy pioneer. For these reasons, and so many more, I support the Rock Island Clean Line and encourage you to consider the positive impacts this project will have in your area.
Harold D. Prior
Iowa Wind Energy Association