Soo Green Transmission Proposal Ready for Next Phase

Sep 2, 2020

A developer is ready to take the next step to build an underground, high power transmission line from Mason City, Iowa to Plano, Illinois.

Michelle O'Neill reports Soo Green is looking for customers, and soon it plans to apply for a permit from the Iowa Utilities Board.


In May, nearly 400 people participated in Soo Green's online public meetings about its plan to build a direct current transmission line. Canadian Pacific Railroad is a partner in the project which would cross under the Mississippi River at Sabula.

Steve Frenkel, V.P. at Soo Green/Direct Connect
Credit submitted / Soo Green HVDC Link ProjectCo, LLC

Steve Frenkel, from Soo Green, says the 220 miles of high voltage power line would be installed underground, along train tracks and highways from Mason City to the Mississippi River.

In early August, the company began a process called open solicitation. Neil Jones, Soo Green's Vice President of Real Estate, says it's looking for:

  • Companies known as shippers that are interested in transmission capacity rights 
  • Generation companies or utilities that want to sell power on the line,
  • And customers interested in buying that power

The buyers and sellers may be utilities, data centers, and others who want to buy Renewable Energy Credits. They'd pay for access rights to fund operations. And ratepayers in Iowa would not be charged at all.

Neil Jones, Soo Green/Direct Connect, V.P.of Real Estate
Credit submitted / Soo Green HVDC Link ProjectCo, LLC

Soo Green needs a permit from the Iowa Utilities Board and plans to apply soon.

That permit would only apply to rural areas, so the company will also work to sign franchise agreements for routes in 24 cities. 

Jones says Soo Green also plans to contact Iowa landowners along the proposed route of the transmission line.

The developer would like to know all about the route and surrounding land before it puts a shovel in the ground.

A video for potential customers is on Soo Green's website HERE. And here's a direct link to the Iowa Utilities Board docket.