Invenergy Wins Missouri Approval to Buy 4-Gigawatt Wind Power Line

The Missouri Public Service Commission authorized Invenergy Investment Company LLC to acquire ownership of Clean Line Energy Partners LLC’s 780-mile Grain Belt Express transmission project, according to a June 5 press release. The $2.3 billion multi-state transmission line is designed to deliver 4 gigawatts of wind power from Western Kansas to Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and the neighboring states.

The commission said that the project brings multiple benefits to the state including an estimated $9.5-$11 million in annual savings for customers of the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, which will receive up to 250 megawatts through an existing transmission services agreement. The project will expand access to “high-capacity-factor Kansas wind resources,” to satisfy Missouri’s growing renewable energy demand. The financial risk associated with building and operating the transmission line will be borne by Grain Belt, with no costs expected to be recovered through the rates of regional transmission organizations.

The overhead, direct current line, which would cross over 200 miles through eight Missouri counties, was cleared by the commission in March. The approval follows a July 2018 ruling from the Missouri Supreme Court, which found that the commission, in its August 2017 decision, erroneously interpreted that it could not grant authorization without the utility first receiving consent from the affected counties.

Last December, the Kansas State Corporation Commission extended the date for Clean Line Energy to begin construction of the multi-state line to Dec. 2, 2019 to allow the agency to rule on Invenergy Transmission LLC’s anticipated application to buy the project. Kansas regulators granted a siting permit on Nov. 7, 2013 for 370 miles of the line. The project also cleared Indiana regulators in May 2013. In Illinois, Grain Belt is working to acquire property in the state, as required by Illinois courts, to enable it to submit a new certificate application with the state regulators.

Invenergy Investment Company is a subsidiary of Invenergy LLC.