Library filed under Transmission from Missouri
Opposition in Missouri has been fierce as landowners along the proposed route have organized and fought regulatory approvals needed by Grain Belt to bypass landowners. Jennifer Gatrel, a spokeswoman for the landowners’ group, said though Tuesday’s ruling is a setback, her members believe they will ultimately be successful in their fight against the Grain Belt project.
Paul Agathen, a lawyer who is spending his retirement representing the opponents without charge, disputed the characterization that the ruling leaves counties with little or no discretion. More litigation may be needed to determine where the line lies, he said.
A long-stalled proposal for a multi-state electric transmission line was thrown a lifeline Tuesday, when the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state regulators erred in rejecting the project based on a controversial legal precedent.
The $2.3 billion project would carry power harnessed from the wind-whipped plains of western Kansas on a 780-mile (1,255 kilometer) trek across Missouri and Illinois before hooking into an electric grid in Indiana that serves the eastern U.S.
It's one of the longest transmission lines proposed in the U.S. But it was rejected last year by Missouri utility commissioners whom Nixon appointed. The state Public Service Commission cited a state appeals court ruling in a separate case that determined a utility first must get approval from local governments to string power lines across roads before the state regulatory commission can grant permission.
Ex-Missouri governor urges court to allow wind-energy line
Grain Belt Express may move forward, but the U.S. onshore wind industry still needs lots of new transmission. A contested 780-mile Midwestern transmission line for wind, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line, may have another chance at life. A Missouri judge ruled recently that the state’s utility commission “erred” in denying the project, putting a final decision in the hands of the state Supreme Court.
With the proposed multi-state wind energy transmission line, Grain Belt Express, held up over controversial interpretations of Missouri law, prospective developers of the project have pushed for the case to go before the state Supreme Court.
Experts say that building wind farms is the easy part. Far bigger complications arise when it comes to building transmission to distribute the energy produced — challenges that are on full display in Missouri.
A Missouri Courts of Appeals is being asked to find a peer court’s decision involving an electric line project erroneous that subsequently was used to deny necessary permits for an even more controversial electric project — the Grain Belt Express.
In issuing the order, commission members said in part that the company had failed to prove that it had first obtained all necessary consent from counties along the project’s proposed route for road crossings. The PSC cited a Missouri Western District Court of Appeals decision in a separate, but recent, case pertaining to a proposed transmission line in northeast Missouri with regard to obtaining county-level permission.
Most members of Missouri’s regulatory panel said they, too, wanted to approve the high-profile project but felt compelled to vote against it because of a recent state appeals court ruling. The judges in that case said utilities must first get the consent of counties to string a power line across roads before state approval can be granted.
“We need to go back to a decision by the Western District (Court of Appeals),” PSC chairman Daniel Hall said. “This commission cannot certify a transmission line without assents from those counties the line traverses.”
In a stunning win for Marion County landowners, the Missouri Court of Appeals vacated a Missouri Public Commission decision to grant necessary certificates to an Illinois company seeking to erect an electricity line through the western part of the county. ...The Court of Appeals interpreted existing state statute to mean that potential power projects much first receive assent from counties before a CCN may be granted (§ 229.0100). In this case, the PSC granted the CCN first.
The withdrawal of support has been filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission, said Presiding Commissioner John Truesdell. That means Randolph County has become the sixth of the eight counties that the wind power transmission line would pass through to withdraw support.
“We have an obligation to each other to do what’s right. We do not have an obligation to do the bidding of wolves in sheeps clothing. Someone who makes promises, but often false promises and loves you when you yield, but threatens and intimidates and sues when you say no.” Clinton County Commissioner Larry King summed up the feelings of most of the witnesses during his testimony when he said, “Just say no to Grain Belt Express.”
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line wind energy project has made significant steps towards getting the final green light from the Public Service Commission.
Missouri regulators have again rejected the state's portion of a power line that would carry wind energy from Kansas to Indiana, citing the company's failure to provide the required 60-day notice before submitting its latest application.
Armed with a growing list of endorsements and agreements intended to show their wind power transmission line project will benefit Missouri taxpayers and utility customers, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line is gearing up for a second attempt to gain regulatory approval in the state. ...Block Grain Belt Express already has held two public meetings to rally continued opposition to the project.
Missouri municipal utilities have signed up for space on the Grain Belt Express, a 780-mile transmission line that would carry wind power from western Kansas to population centers further east.