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How much does it cost?

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:21 p.m. CDT

Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) plans to construct a HVCD transmission system that will transport wind energy from the Great Plains to the East Coast and “maybe Chicago.” RICL hopes to cross our section of Illinois.

A study on RICL Facebook recommends “the wholesale price of electricity has to go up 50 percent for the project to be feasible. The estimated cost would be $65 to $75 per megawatt (mwh) “not including the $28 mwh for transmission cost. Our electrical rates are now around $30 mwh, or the transmission cost.

RICL doesn’t say how much this energy will cost if government subsidies stop. Productive Tax Credits (PTC) provide a subsidy of 2.2 cents per kilowatt (kwh) to wind energy producers. The whole sale price of electricity is from 4 cents to 4.5 cents per kwh. Taxpayers pick up half the cost, when it comes to wind.

Mr. Detweiler, RICL pitchman, said the project will decrease the annual cost of wholesale electricity by $320 million the first year. He cannot say how Clean Line will achieve this amount on a project that will cost more than $9 billion. Nice talking from a company that does not release a public financial statement. Clean Line owners, Texas billionaire Michael Ziekha and the New York billionaire Zapp Brothers are not a nonprofit charitable organization.

To promote industry in Illinois, lost cost electricity is needed. “Bloomberg” stated in its Jan. 17, 2012, issue, “natural gas costs has dropped 50 percent in the past five years. It is natural gas keeping electricity down, not wind.” Why is Clean Line investing in a wind related project? Is it to obtain perpetuate ownership of a 500-mile, 200-foot easement?

RICL is waiting for Governor Quinn and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) decision. Tell them “NO to RICL.”

Mary Auchstetter

Peru

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