Kansas Wind Farms Could Create Newest Missouri Utility Company

Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC could build $2 billion wind farm power system through Missouri.

Kansas-based wind farms are creating a $2 billion project to transmit power across the Midwest and to the East Coast. The Tribune- Star reported that the power lines could provide enough energy to power a city:

The project includes a 700-mile direct current transmission line that would deliver 3,500 megawatts — 600,000 volts — of power, enough to power 1.4 million homes. That is the equivalent of the power generated by three Hoover Dams, according to a company estimate.

Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC, an affiliate of Clean Line Energy Partners LLC of Houston,  became a Kansas public utility in 2011. The company will apply to be a utility in Indiana in the next few months, according to Diana Coggin, the company’s project development manager. The Tribune-Star reported that the wind farm energy provider is in the process of becoming a utility in Illinois and Missouri.

Kevin Kelley, media contact for the Missouri Public Service Commission, said the state has not yet received a utility application from either Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC or Clean Line Energy Partners LLC.

The specific route has not yet been determined, Coggin said, but the power line will run north of Kansas City and St. Louis. She said construction on the private investment project could begin as early as 2015 and take two to three years to complete.

“Wind turbines are more efficient and are producing more energy at a lower cost,” Coggin said. “The Great Plains have the best wind resources,” but the user population of power is small, and transmission lines are relatively weak, Coggin said. “Our company was formed to bridge the gap between the most abundant wind resources and larger population centers.”

Clean Line Energy Partners is owned by Ziff Brothers Investments LLC and Michael Zilkha of Houston, who previously owned Horizon Wind Energy LLC.


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