A Mason City, Iowa-based development company wants to build a 349-mile underground power line that will transport renewable energy generated in Iowa to Chicago and other eastern cities.
The estimated $3 billion SOO Green Renewable Rail project will according to developer Direct Connect Development Co. (DC DevCo), transfer up to 2100 MW of wind energy through an underground high voltage direct current (HVDC) line comprised of two cables. Both cables will be buried in the existing railroad rights-of-way.
The project is modeled on the US fiber optic network, the company said in a release. DC DevCo anticipates that SOO Green will become a renewable energy hub since it links MISO in Upper Midwestern states including Michigan and Minnesota to PJM which extends east to the coast.
“This creates a convenient location for a large number of renewable energy buyers and sellers to enter into standard transactions,” the company said.
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Jingoli Power and Siemens Financial Services are the project’s lead investors. But, despite having a model and financial backing the project still has to pass a series of regulatory hurdles, including getting the approval of the Iowa Utilities Board.
DC DevCo according to a statement expects the project to be operational by 2024.