Sale spurs some optimism for stalled Grain Belt Express wind line

After years of delays and rural opposition in Missouri, the sale of a proposed multistate wind energy delivery line may breathe new life into the once-doomed project.

Invenergy, a Chicago-based utility developer and operator, in November announced plans to buy the proposed $2.3 billion Grain Belt Express project from Houston’s Clean Line Energy.

Some observers wonder if the sale, which is still awaiting regulatory approval, will affect the likelihood of the wind project getting back on track.

“We do bring resources that Clean Line didn’t bring to the table,” an Invenergy spokesperson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Grain Belt Express, a 780-mile power transmission line spanning four states, would deliver 4,000 megawatts of wind power from Kansas to Indiana. A contract with the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission would have guaranteed at least 200 megawatts of electricity from the project.

Grain Belt’s fate depends on the Missouri Public Service Commission, which has rejected the project in the past, citing public pressure from rural landowners.

Missouri was the only one of the four states that opposed the project. The first major roadblock came in 2014 when Chariton County commissioners rescinded their support for the project, citing a local petition that collected over 1,000 signatures.

The PSC rejected the project in 2017. A unanimous Missouri Supreme Court ruling last year sent the project back to the PSC to determine whether it is “necessary or convenient for the public service” to approve.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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