Missouri Gov., companies endorse Grain Belt Express wind transmission line

Missouri’s top elected official and numerous companies have come out in support of a proposed wind power transmission line that has run into headwinds with the state’s regulators.

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line project developers this week filed an application with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) for approval to build the $500 million statewide project. Last summer, the MPSC denied certification for the 206-mile Missouri portion of the project.

Since then, however, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and a host of companies that do business in the state have announced their support. On Wednesday, Nixon cited new landowner protections and consumer savings as inspiration for his newfound favor.

Clean Line Energy Partners, developers of the project, estimated that it will pay about $32 million to landowners who have the transmission line running across their properties.

“With these new protections for landowners and millions of dollars in savings for consumers, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a good deal for Missouri,” Nixon said in a statement. “In addition to reducing energy costs, this $500 million construction project will also boost our economy and create good-paying jobs. I appreciate Clean Line for answering my call for these enhanced landowner protections and for ensuring the transmission line is built in a way that creates jobs and saves money for Missourians.”

Meanwhile, companies with manufacturing facilities in Missouri sent a letter to the MPSC in support of the Grain Belt Express. Those companies, which employ more than 10,000 workers statewide, included General Motors, Target, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s and Nestlàƒ©.

Grain Belt Express Clean Line is an opportunity to provide our companies with a link to low-cost renewable energy at a scale that is meaningful,” the letter reads. “Access to renewable energy is increasingly important to our decisions about where to expand and to site new facilities.”

Missouri is the last of four states where approval is needed for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line. Kansas, Illinois and Indiana regulators already have OK’d the project.

“Over the last year, we have made tremendous progress in developing the Grain Belt Express so that it will benefit Missourians for years to come,” Michael Skelly, president of Clean Line, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the Missouri Public Service Commission will recognize the many long-term benefits that this project will bring to the Show-Me State.”

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