Clean Line Energy Partners LLC (Clean Line) of Houston, Texas is pleased to announce an exclusive agreement with Siemens to provide high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology solutions for the Rock Island Clean Line transmission project. The Rock Island Clean Line will consist of approximately 500 miles of overhead HVDC transmission lines that will deliver 3,500 megawatts of renewable power from Iowa, Minn., Neb. and S.D. to communities and businesses in Illinois and other states to the east. In addition to providing detailed technical expertise to the development team, under the development agreement, Siemens and Clean Line will work together to develop, design, and implement the HVDC converter stations for this important infrastructure project.
Efficient technical solutions are necessary to solve the nation's challenge of moving renewable power to market. "Siemens, high voltage direct current technology is the ideal solution for the Rock Island Clean Line to move that power over long distances," said David Pacyna, President of Siemens North American Transmission Business. Projects like the Rock Island Clean Line will provide the upgrades needed to the U.S. transmission grid while providing lasting economic and environmental benefits to the region.
The Rock Island Clean Line will deliver enough energy to power more than 1.4 million American homes. This transmission line project will make possible approximately $7 billion worth of investments in new wind energy projects, which today cannot be constructed due to the lack of transmission. In addition to the new wind farm investments, the entire cost of the Rock Island Clean Line will total approximately $1.7 billion.
"Clean Line Energy is pleased to partner with Siemens on our Rock Island Clean Line project. Private investments in our nation's energy infrastructure are one of many ways we can stimulate our economy. Innovative projects like the Rock Island Clean Line will create American jobs, and provide consumers with low cost, clean energy options," said Michael Skelly, President of Clean Line Energy Partners.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad noted, "New transmission infrastructure is critical to unlock Iowa's best wind resources for development and to grow the state's wind energy industry." Governor Branstad continued by saying, "Siemens, already a key participant in the Iowa wind industry with a manufacturing facility in Fort Madison, is a natural fit to provide technical services for the Rock Island Clean Line. I am pleased to encourage these two companies to work together with regulatory agencies to develop a new transmission line that will help us get Iowa's wind energy to markets and create thousands of jobs in the process."
Siemens is a global leader in HVDC transmission technology. High voltage direct current is the most efficient method to transmit large amounts of electricity over long distances. HVDC transmission lines transfer power with less infrastructure, provide controllable energy flow and have lower line losses, resulting in lower costs and lower prices. They also reduce environmental impact by utilizing narrower right-of-way than alternating current (AC) lines moving a comparable amount of power over long distances.
"This partnership is exciting news because it provides an innovative market solution to our need for a better transmission infrastructure," said Doug Whitley, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. "Illinois is an energy hub and we know that no matter what our electricity solutions will look like in the future, they will need to be transported on a grid. This is an important step in getting more alternative energy to our state and beyond and will do nothing but bring positive benefits to our economy."