KCC approves construction of Grain Belt line in two phases

TOPEKA – The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved a request from Invenergy Transmission LLC, the owners of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project, to allow the 780-mile transmission line to be built in two phases. As a result of today’s approval, construction on the 370 miles of the line that runs through Kansas could begin in late 2024. The Commission approved the siting permit for the transmission line in July 2013.

The transmission line will run through Kansas and a converter station in Ford County then continue through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana carrying wind generated energy to eastern states. The original agreement with Invenergy required the company to obtain financing to complete the entire line before work could begin. Citing demand for the project’s energy and delays in permitting and land acquisition in Illinois, Invenergy requested an amendment that allows them to begin Phase 1, which includes Kansas and Missouri, once all regulatory approvals and financing have been obtained for that portion of the project.

Today’s Order notes that allowing the project to proceed in two phases does not remove or alter any of the protections for landowners that were included in the original settlement. In addition, the Order notes Phase 1 is expected to be economically viable absent Phase 2. Even if Phase 2 never materializes, Phase 1 will be operational and capable of moving wind from Western Kansas east, on a merchant line paid for by subscribers, not Kansas ratepayers.

In June 2019, the Commission approved the acquisition of the project by Invenergy Transmission LLC.

Today’s order is available here.

A recording of today’s Business Meeting featuring comments by Commissioners, is available on the KCC YouTube channel.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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