More cities line up for Grain Belt Express deals as PSC hears case for a second time

A development out of Hannibal could mark a significant victory for the plan to run a wind power transmission line across part of Missouri.

The Hannibal Board of Public Works approved a final draft contract with the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission on Tuesday. It would allow the city to use wind energy to supply 20 percent of its annual power needs if a transmission line that would carry wind power from western Kansas across several states to population centers in the east is approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission. The Hannibal City Council approved a resolution later Tuesday to allow the mayor to execute the agreement.

Supporters of the transmission line say it could save the state millions. Currently, 35 cities in Missouri Public Energy Pool (MoPEP) are expecting an estimated $10 million in annual savings, and Hannibal joins Kirkwood and Centralia as cities lining up for a deal.

But the deal all hinges on the line, called the Grain Belt Express, being completed. The Houston-based company behind the project has won approval from other states, but the Missouri PSC has already rejected the plan once, in July 2015.

Since the first rejection, Clean Line Energy has retooled the project to include municipal utilities as customers as well as expanding protections to landowners to get the PSC’s approval.

Read more: The Missouri Times

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