Farmers are still concerned about electrical transmission lines that could cross their property. Three transmission lines across the state are planned, for the purpose of delivering wind-generated direct current from the Great Plains to points east:
The Rock Island Clean Line, from Port Byron to near Morris
The Ameren Illinois Rivers line, from Quincy via Pana and Mount Zion to Kansas, near Paris, and then on into Indiana
The Grain Belt Express line from Kansas to Indiana, with the Illinois route to be determined.
Phillip Nelson, former president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, says farmers have concerns about where the structures are located.
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“We have said you need to be more responsible when you site these, whether that’s to a federal highway, a state highway – keep ‘em as close as you can outside of the right-of-ways – or stay on property lines with monopole structures that farmers can still farm around these things,” he said.
Transmission lines are often on bulky so-called lattice structures that take up a lot of space; a facility supported by monopole structures would have a narrower path.
Nelson says unlike wind farms, these transmission facilities appear to be offering farmers little in the way of revenue opportunities, in terms of compensation for property and easement rights.