to reverse its Order granting Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN)
This is a major setback for the project, which was granted a CPCN by the ICC in 2014. In its decision, the Court found that Rock Island failed to meet two requirements for being a public utility because it does not own, control, operate, or manage assets within the State; and that the proposed transmission line is not for public use without discrimination. Because Rock Island is not a public utility, the Court said, the ICC lacked authority to issue a CPCN in the first place.
“We are thrilled with the Court’s decision,” said Block RICL spokeswoman Mary Mauch. “We have worked very hard to protect our private property rights from a speculative business venture looking to cash in on our heritage for their own financial gain. This decision to void RICL’s permit makes all that hard work worthwhile!”
Rock Island Clean Line is a 500-mile high-voltage direct current electric transmission line proposed to run from northwestern Iowa to northeast Illinois. It is owned by Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston, Texas, who is also developing at least two other transmission projects to capitalize on moving energy from the Midwest into expensive eastern electric markets. Clean Line is currently supported by financial contributions from private investors while it struggles to get any one of its projects off the planning table to begin generating revenue.
The Court’s Opinion can be viewed here.