- As anticipated, Missouri regulators have blocked Clean Line Energy Partners' (CLEP) application to construct the Grain Belt Express transmission system, designed to bring Kansas wind power through the state and to load centers to the east.
- Regulators determined CLEP was financially capable of putting the project together, but found that it was not needed by Missouri ratepayers.
- Project organizers will now look to the federal government for eminent domain to pursue the line, similar to what it is doing in Arkansas after a similar decision by regulators in that state.
In a win for a group of Missouri landowners, state regulators denied by a 3-2 vote CLEP's request to construct the Grain Belt Express. It won't kill the project – organizers have hinted they may seek federal eminent domain approval, similar to what they are doing in Arkansas. But the PSC did determine that the new transmission line would not be in the best interest of ratepayers.
“The commission concludes that the substantial and competent evidence in the record supports the conclusion that GBE has failed to meet, by a preponderance of the evidence, its burden of proof,” the commission wrote.
Missouri regulators used five criterial to evaluate the project, but ultimately found that Grain Belt “failed to prove a need for the project, that it was economically feasible and that it promotes the public interest,” the commission said in a statement.
The decision was not a surprise, as regulators had already hinted they would vote against the project.
The $2 billion, 750-mile transmission system that would move 4,000 MW of Kansas-generated electricity to the east, with a 500 MW portion would be delivered to a station in Missouri.