A coalition of utilities have announced their opposition to a series of 765-kilovolt transmission lines, more than double the capacity of the current 345-kilovolt lines. The lines are proposed as a way to send electricity from the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota to Chicago and points east. "If Iowa wants to build a transmission line for their energy, we have no objection. But Iowa or the Midwest should pay for it," said Ian Bowles, secretary of energy and environmental affairs in Massachusetts. New England states want to produce their own wind energy from offshore farms.
Bruce Edelston, executive director for the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, said his group has formed to fight a proposal in the Senate to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority to site and assess costs for a wind transmission line.
"We don’t think it’s necessarily a good idea to build a multistate transmission line," said Edelston, whose group will hold a coming-out news conference today in Washington, D.C.
The Fair Transmission group represents companies serving 28 percent of U.S. electric customers, including utilities in New York City, Michigan, Indianapolis, New England, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas and Florida, New Jersey and Georgia. Those states presumably would be among potential markets for the wind-generated electricity moved from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, which have the potential to produce far more wind energy than would be consumed there.