Clean Line Energy (Clean Line) received requests for more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of transmission service for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line in its open solicitation process, representing more than four-and-a-half times the available capacity of the transmission line. All requests for transmission service came from wind generators who require new transmission infrastructure to deliver low-cost wind energy from projects under development in and around western Kansas to serve customers in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a 750-mile direct current transmission line that will help Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and other states in the region meet the increasing demand for renewable energy. In January 2015, Clean Line commenced an open solicitation process to allocate capacity on its Grain Belt Express Clean Line transmission project.
The open solicitation responses show a strong demand for delivery to Missouri. Ten respondents submitted requests for more than 3,000 MW of transmission service to deliver power to Missouri, over six times the available capacity to that delivery station. The 10 wind developers who requested Missouri service are looking to deliver low-cost wind to Missouri to meet the state’s growing demand for clean energy.
“The interest among wind developers to deliver low-cost wind power to the Missouri market is promising,” said Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid. “We’re very interested in the Grain Belt Express Clean Line project’s progress, because the City of Columbia needs access to energy as cleanly and inexpensively as we can get it. We hope this project moves forward so we can get energy from renewable sources at a substantially lower cost than what we are now paying.”
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will directly support manufacturing jobs and provide the opportunity for thousands of construction jobs.
“Wind energy is an important part of our energy portfolio and we are excited that Missouri will play a role in providing that energy through the Grain Belt Express Clean Line,” said Daniel Mehan, President/CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Providing an additional cleaner, cheaper and more abundant energy is a good thing for business and Missouri consumers and we are committed to this opportunity.”
“We have the opportunity right now to build infrastructure that will benefit our country for decades to come,” said Dave Desmond, Business Manager of IBEW Local #2, St. Louis, Missouri. “With Clean Line’s infrastructure investment comes the opportunity to support good, American, middle-class jobs.”
“We are pleased that Clean Line decided to work with Hubbell Power Systems to manufacture the conductor hardware assemblies and polymer insulators for the Grain Belt Express transmission project. New energy infrastructure projects like the Grain Belt Express are critical to our investment decision making,” said William Tolley, Senior Vice President at Hubbell Incorporated.
The project will also have a delivery converter station located in Clark County, Illinois, near the Illinois/Indiana border. Fourteen respondents submitted requests for more than 7,000 MW of transmission service to deliver power to Illinois, four-and-a-half times the available capacity to that delivery station.
Randy Nehrt, Vice President of Legislative Relations for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, said, “The requests for capacity on the Grain Belt Express Clean Line show that there is strong demand among wind generators to build wind farms in Kansas and ship their power to Missouri and Illinois. This transmission project will provide greater diversity of electricity supply in Illinois and growth in renewable energy that creates more options for consumers.”
Clean Line has received the necessary regulatory approvals in Kansas and Indiana and has an application pending in Missouri. In Illinois, Clean Line will apply for regulatory approval this year. Based on current estimates, the Grain Belt Express is expected to be energized as early as 2019.
“This Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a great example of the free market working to address the energy sector’s need for interregional transmission,” said Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. “Kansas wind farms produce some of the lowest-cost wind power in the country and Clean Line’s open solicitation makes clear the strong demand to ship that Kansas power to markets in need of cheap, clean energy. I look forward to the project moving forward as it helps reduce our dependency on foreign energy sources.”
On May 8, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order granting Clean Line the authority to begin negotiating rates with customers for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line. The capacity allocation process was conducted pursuant to the FERC Policy Statement issued on January 17, 2013: Allocation of Capacity on New Merchant Transmission Projects and New Cost-based, Participant-funded Transmission Projects.
“We are very pleased with the commercial demand for the Grain Belt Express project. The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will provide Missouri access to low-cost renewable energy through the delivery converter station located there, and will substantially increase the amount of clean energy in Illinois and Indiana,” said Michael Skelly, President of Clean Line Energy.
Grain Belt Express Clean Line
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