Library filed under Transmission from Missouri
The PSC’s unanimous approval of a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct the line came with one major caveat — ATXI must first get the nod from the commissions of the five counties in the transmission line’s path. So far, the county commissions haven’t welcomed the project.
Two transmission line projects that promoters say are needed to connect wind generation to the electric grid could get different treatment from Missouri regulators.
The federal approval of a controversial energy project in Arkansas could foreshadow the fate for another similar project that is proposed to run through Northeast Missouri.
The small Mississippi River city of Hannibal, Mo., best known as the site of Mark Twain’s boyhood home, could play a big role in a developer’s effort to win regulatory approval for a $2.2 billion wind energy superhighway across the Midwest.
“In some of the rural communities, we see this as an invasion,” Gatrel says. “Many of our members are military veterans, and we are planning this out like a war.” We’re not talking about an armed standoff here, but Gatrel helped organize a statewide campaign to stop the Missouri Public Service Commission from giving Clean Line powers of eminent domain to compel land owners to go along.
No offers were made when representatives of Clean Line Energy Partners met with the Hannibal Board of Public Works Board on Tuesday afternoon. And while no decisions had to be made by the BPW Board, it was certainly given plenty to digest by both Clean Line and its opponents.
The loud and persistent opponents are far from conceding defeat, however. They say the 780-mile line, 200 miles of which are set to pass over Pike, Scott, Greene, Macoupin, Montgomery, Christian, Shelby Cumberland and Clark counties in Illinois, is being rammed through over widespread objections.
Although Clean Line pledged to make a portion of its power available to Missouri, state regulators determined it was not needed to meet local demand nor the state's renewable energy requirements. Regulators also cited the burden on Missouri landowners, noting that most of the 7,200 comments it received were opposed to the project. ..."I think (wind energy) is fine. But "it doesn't make sense to me to have to transport it halfway across the United States. We're smarter than that."
In order to ensure your project moves forward — even without state approval — you have broadened your approach to include a federal legislative effort. Senate Energy Bill 1017 would grant eminent domain authority despite our state laws. Please understand the depth of staunch and unbending opposition we have to this concept. We are lobbying our Congressional and Senate delegation to prevent you from ever having that tool.
When Illinois regulators voted recently to approve the Grain Belt Express, joining Kansas and Indiana, that left Missouri as the sole holdout. “We’re digging in, and we’re ready to fight,” Jennifer Gatrel said last week as she and her husband worked cattle on their ranch in Caldwell County. “We beat ’em once and we’ll beat ’em again.”
Grain Belt has stated it will continue trying to get permission to build. The company is currently engaged in a legal battle in Illinois attempting to obtain eminent domain authority. Several legal groups, including the Illinois Farm Bureau, and individual landowners, have legally opposed the project.
Should the developers of the Grain Belt Express seek to move forward with the multi-state wind line project, it could include filings with the appellate court in Missouri. In a 3-1 vote, the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) denied a rehearing to reexamine if the multi-state wind-power project should be granted a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN). According to an Aug. 12 order, Clean Line Energy did not demonstrate “sufficient reason to rehear the matter.”
Saying Missouri officials made multiple errors and did not act “even-handed,” a Houston-based energy company is asking the Missouri Public Service Commission to rehear its application to build a $2.2 billion high-voltage transmission line to carry Kansas wind power across Missouri to Eastern power grids.
The Missouri Public Service Commission denied a crucial certificate for a multi-state wind-powered transmission line proposal that would pass through Ralls County if built.
A company’s request to build a power line for a multistate wind energy project that would run through Missouri appears unlikely to gain approval from a state regulatory panel after most members spoke against the plan Tuesday.
The Missouri Public Service Commission discussed Tuesday a multi-state wind-powered transmission line proposal that could traverse Ralls County, and the project’s opponents and proponents are reviewing what the future could hold ahead of a formal vote.
The legislation in the Missouri House of Representatives, H.B. 1027, would prevent any electric transmission project from using the power of eminent domain if, among other provisions, the line "is constructed entirely with private funds and users of the line pay for the transmission line." The sponsor of the legislation, state Rep. Jim Hansen, said he came up with the idea after residents expressed fears of their private property being seized. ...The staff of the PSC last year recommended that the commission reject approval of the line because Clean Line had allegedly not proved that the line was needed.
Developers of a cross-state transmission line say there is overwhelming demand for capacity to transmit wind power, but opposition still threatens to undermine the project. ...“There’s a saying here in the country that their name is mud, and Clean Line’s name is very dirty in all the impacted counties,” said Jennifer Gatrel, a Caldwell County landowner who heads a group dubbed Block Grain Belt Express Missouri. Disclosures the company submitted to the PSC last week say it had only reached easement agreements with the owners of 45 tracts of property, though it passes through hundreds in the state.
A 750-mile interstate power line promises to deliver wind-generated electricity to Columbia at nearly half the price the city now pays. But the savings cannot be certain until the line is built and contracts are proposed.
The hearing was the first of a series of public meetings on the project being held across the state. While some in attendance support the jobs, taxes and clean energy that developers promised, coalitions of landowners opposed to the project, most of them wearing neon green T-shirts or stickers that said “Block GBE,” dominated the hearing.