Art Hughes has died…

March 31st, 2009

I’ve just received a missive from Iowa that Art Hughes, Ph.D. in Power Engineering, died last month, February 17, 2009.

Monday, March 1, 2009

Bernard A. Hughes

PEOSTA, Iowa — Bernard Arthur “Art” Hughes, 63, of 7995 New Melleray Road, Peosta, formerly of Texas and Canada, died at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009, at home.

Services will be at 4 p.m. Monday, March 2, at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road, with the Rev. Kathleen Milligan, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, officiating. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Key West. Friends may call from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

He was born on April 3, 1945, in Hereford, United Kingdom, son of James R. and Sara (Price) Hughes.

Art was a brilliant electrical engineer and did consulting work. He had earned his PhD in electrical engineering and was currently working on tracking stray voltage and electrical and magnetic fields and their effect on livestock production.

There are no known survivors.

Art died just a few days after this photo was taken.  He was making comments at a public meeting about an ITC transmission line through his Peosta, Iowa neighborhood:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hearing generates electricity

Dubuque County landowners express concern about ITC transmission line

By MICHAEL SCHMIDT TH staff writer


Photo by: Jessica Reilly
Art Hughes, of Peosta, Iowa, addresses concerns about the construction of electric transmission lines in the area during a public information meeting Tuesday at the Peosta Community Centre.

PEOSTA, Iowa — Jack Ludescher has second thoughts about his retirement home.

The retired Dubuque junior high teacher is mulling whether to use property on Asbury Road, west of Dubuque, should ITC Midwest follow through on its proposed 81-mile electric transmission line in Dubuque County.

“We don’t know if we want to do this if a power line is going over,” Ludescher told the TH Tuesday following the Iowa Utilities Board hearing on the plan at the Peosta Community Centre. Nearly 100 people turned out for the meeting.

For about 90 minutes, ITC Midwest officials and property owners discussed the merits of a proposed new 345 kilovolt transmission line between its Salem Substation in Dubuque County and its Hazleton Substation in Buchanan County.

The proposed line would be built along the route of an existing 161 kV line and add a circuit on a 100- to150-foot right of way.

Poles would extend between 105 and 155 feet into the air and be spread 800 feet apart. ITC is in negotiations with property owners for new rights-of-way along the proposed line.

Construction is slated to begin in 2010, with completion by the first quarter of 2012, ITC officials said.

“This is a major construction project that will support the area for years to come,” said Dick Coeur, ITC general manager for community and customer relations.

ITC officials cite the need for strengthened energy reliability and decreased power losses on the system.

The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator has identified eastern Iowa as a trouble spot for energy bottlenecks, and the proposed line would form a loop with existing north-south and east-west transmission lines in the region.

Without a new 345 kV line, there is the potential for voltage problems and energy overloads, officials said.

“(The line) completes the 345,000 volt-system,” said Doug Collins, executive director for ITC. “It’s really more than Dubuque County. This line would continue on to another substation, so if we lose the existing line, power can still come from another direction.”

During the question-and-answer session, property owners voiced their concerns about the project.

Doug Behnke, of Peosta, questioned how energy from the transmission line would be neutralized.

“It comes down to the safety of the line, safety of the people and the animals,” Behnke said. “How will it affect humans? We need to have a standard for human safety. Human and animal safety is not being addressed.”

Bruce Whitney, principal engineer for ITC, displayed a graphic listing the milligauss, or magnetic field, of various household appliances. In comparison, Whitney said the transmission lines would emit less magnetic energy than a hair dryer, electric shaver, blender and vacuum, based on Environmental Protection Agency data.

Behnke scoffed at ITC’s graphic, calling it “distortion.”

“That’s smoke over the household sources,” Behnke replied.

After meeting with landowners, ITC Midwest plans to file a Petition for a franchise with the Iowa Utilities Board. The IUB will then notify citizens of each county — Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson — and determine whether a final hearing will be held.