Aug. 17--Despite high praise for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line, a wind-generated power line that would run from Kansas to Indiana through Shelby and Cumberland counties, the Missouri Public Service Commission this week unanimously denied an application for the project.
The commission said it had no choice but to follow precedent set in a recent and similar case with Ameren.
In that case, the commission approved Ameren's request for an interstate electric transmission line. But in Missouri's Western District Court of Appeals, the commission's ruling was reversed because the court said Ameren needed consents from each county the line would pass through.
"That Western District opinion is binding on the Commission, and gave the Commission no choice but to deny the [Grain Belt Express] application," a separate concurring opinion read.
With the denial, Clean Line Energy Partners, the company seeking to build the power line, will have to delay its energy transmission project. It has approval from Illinois, Indiana and Kansas, but still lacks Missouri's consent.
"We will certainly review the order in detail to determine next steps for the project," Michael Skelly, president of Clean Line Energy, said in a press release. "We are currently assessing all existing authorities available to move the Grain Belt Express project forward, including but not limited to legal appeals."
While Clean Line has said that its project would bring 1,500 jobs and $700 million in infrastructure investment to Illinois, property owners have been upset over the prospect of transmission towers being built on their land.
The line would run through Shelby and Cumberland counties. Company officials said counties and property owners would be compensated for the intrusion.
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