- The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) has rejected Clean Line Energy Partners’ proposed $2 billion Grain Belt Express transmission line because the developer did not give the required 60 day notice before filing its application, EnergyWire reports.
- Clean Line argues that it was not required to submit advance notice because it is not a regulated entity in Missouri and says the rule should be waived because it believed the filing was good faith and that it was not required to make the advance notice.
- Hours after the PSC decision, Clean Line reportedly filed the advance notice, allowing it to refile its application to build the line on Aug. 29. The 780-mile direct current line would run from Kansas to Indian to deliver renewable energy from western sources to eastern load centers.
The Grain Belt Express project has had a tough time getting through Missouri. The state’s PSC turned down the project about one year ago because they said it was not needed by Missouri ratepayers. Despite positive developments for the project since then, the PSC has rejected the project’s second approval application.
Earlier this month, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) threw his support behind the transmission project. In April, the U.S. Department of Energy granted CLEP eminent domain authority for a separate transmission project, raising hopes it could do the same for the Grain Belt Express. And in June, the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission contracted for up to 200 MW of capacity on the proposed transmission line, a move could increase its appeal to regulators in the state.
Nonethelesss, Clean Line’s most recent approval application was turned down by the PSC on procedural grounds. The company quickly filed the advance notice requested by regulators along with a partial waiver, EnergyWire reports, allowing it to submit its application on Aug. 29.
A company spokesman told the outlet the decision "doesn't change the substance of our application."
The commission did say it would consider a future request to waive the advance notice requirement because it considers Clean Line’s June 29 application as serving that same purpose.
However, the filing is likely to face continued resistance. "We absolutely need the time to again prepare our resources to defend our property rights," said Jennifer Gatrel, a spokeswoman for opposition group Block Grain Belt Express.
Clean Line already has regulatory approvals in Kansas, Illinois and Indiana, leaving Missouri’s as the last needed approval.
Correction: An earlier version of this post stated the Department of Energy granted CLEP eminent domain power for the Grain Belt Express. That is incorrect. CLEP was granted the power for its separate Plains & Eastern transmission project.