Elgin files with ICC to fight proposed ComEd project
By Mike Danahey email@example.com @DanaheyECN January 29, 2014 9:56PM
Updated: January 31, 2014 9:40AM
ELGIN — The city is following the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office in seeking to intervene in proceedings over a high-voltage power line through the area.
Just as the State’s Attorney’s Office did Monday, the city on Wednesday filed a petition to intervene with the Illinois Commerce Commission in regard to ComEd’s proposed Grand Prairie Parkway project.
“We expect to file in the next several days the City Council resolution expressing opposition to the project along with certain written testimony,” Elgin Corporate Counsel William Cogley said Wednesday evening.
Although the state’s attorney’s office has filed its petition to be involved in the proceedings, the Kane County Board has taken no position on the project so far.
The Elgin City Council, however, unanimously passed a resolution in December opposing the proposal.
The plan is for a 345,000-volt power line on steel towers that would be 165 feet tall and have four steel cross arms with a maximum width of 52 feet. The 57-mile line would make its way through Ogle, DeKalb, Kane and DuPage counties between Byron and Wayne, passing through Elgin’s far west side.
According to the project’s website, PJM Interconnection, an independent regional transmission grid operator and planner, has offered the chosen path and some suggested alternates as “the best solution for addressing current system congestion and ensuring the continued efficient flow of electricity across northern Illinois.”
ComEd officials say that burying part of the route — as some opponents have suggested — had not been considered because of the cost.
The route would be located just to the south of the Canadian National Railroad tracks and north of the Bowes Creek Country Club and its series of Toll Brothers homes in Elgin. It also would come close to the Mulberry Grove and Cedar Grove developments, properties to which Elgin holds title, and Otter Creek Elementary School.
Earlier this month, residents in the homeowners associations for the three subdivisions around Bowes Creek Country Club decided to hire Peoria-based law firm Shay, Kepple, and Phillips, which has a history of representing individuals with utility filings with the ICC, to represent the residents as intervenors.
Voluntary contributions from residents and a donation from Toll Brothers, the area’s developer, are footing these legal fees.
People may comment on the proposed project at www.icc.illinois.gov. The case number is 13-0657. ComEd hopes to have a ruling by the Illinois Commerce Commission on the matter by sometime this summer.