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Iowa Board Approves New Electric Transmission Line in Madison County

Feb. 5, 2021
Approval to build approximately 3.53 miles of 161-kV electric transmission line that consists of west and east segments.

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) recently issued an order in Docket No. E-22417 approving a petition for a franchise to construct, maintain, and operate two electric transmission lines by MidAmerican Energy Co. near the city of Cumming in Madison County, Iowa.

MidAmerican's petition proposes to build approximately 3.53 miles of 161-kV electric transmission line that consists of west and east segments. The west segment connects from MidAmerican's Maffitt Lake Substation in Madison County to an already existing line connected to MidAmerican's Booneville Substation in Dallas County. The east segment connects from MidAmerican's Maffitt Lake Substation in Madison County to an already existing line connected to MidAmerican's Norwalk Substation in Warren County. A map of the route is available for review in the IUB's electronic filing system.

The Feb. 1 order includes partial concurrence and dissent. A majority of the board members concluded that MidAmerican proved it was entitled to a franchise over both the west and east segments. But board member Richard Lozier concluded that while MidAmerican proved it was entitled to a franchise over the west segment, it did not prove its entitlement to a franchise over the east segment. A franchise was, however, issued over both the west and east segments because of the majority.

The order finds that the proposed lines are necessary to serve a public use and represent a reasonable relationship to an overall plan of transmitting electricity in the public interest. The order also found that vesting MidAmerican with the right of eminent domain is necessary for public use subject to the easement modifications discussed in the order.

Iowa Code chapter 478 specifies rules for electric transmission line franchises. To learn more about the franchise process, visit here. To review the frequently asked questions on eminent domain, visit here.

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