Another City Hops On Board Missouri’s Grain Belt Express Clean Line


The board of alderman of Centralia, Mo., has voted to become the latest Missouri municipal utility to move forward with negotiating long-term transmission service on the Grain Belt Express Clean Line, an overhead power line that developer Clean Line Energy Partners estimates will deliver wind power for approximately 200,000 Missouri homes each year.

If approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission, the Grain Belt Express project could save participating municipal utility customers, including Centralia, at least $10 million per year, according to a release from Clean Line Energy.

This summer, the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission – a public power agency that serves 67 municipalities throughout Missouri – announced that a group of its municipal utility members would buy transmission service on the project.

Subsequently, the city councils of both Kirkwood and Hannibal authorized their city utilities to negotiate transmission service on the Grain Belt Express. Now, Centralia has voted to join in. The municipalities have all cited cost-savings and diversifying their power portfolios as the primary reasons to participate, says Clean Line Energy.

In addition, Grain Belt Express has filed an updated application with the Missouri Public Service Commission to request approval of the project. According to Clean Line Energy, the filing emphasizes the energy cost-savings that the project could provide to Missourians.

Missouri is the last of four states where regulatory approval is needed for the project.

“The Grain Belt Express provides Centralia the ability to secure low-cost, clean power for our families and businesses,” says Tim Grenke, mayor of Centralia. “This much needed infrastructure project will also create large work orders for Hubbell Power Systems, Centralia’s largest employer. The City of Centralia stands to benefit greatly from this project.”

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7 years ago

Not sure why it matters at this point how many mini-utilities sign on. The Third District Court of Appeals in Illinois vacated the ICC order and declared that Clean line DID NOT meet the definition of a utility in Illinois. The ruling was unanimous. Clean Line says they will appeal, but the Supreme Court of Illinois hears only a small number of cases and only those of great importance. Clean Line has always had an exaggerated sense of their own importance so I’m sure they think this will be heard. We’ll see. Meanwhile, two of their speculative projects are shut… Read more »