Articles filed under Transmission from Missouri
The aim of the Missouri bill to stop the project’s developers, Invenergy Transmission, from pursuing condemnation if landowners won’t sell easements, which means allowing a piece of their land to be used for the power line. Grain Belt developers decried the legislation as short-sighted.
Missouri’s Republican-led state House is trying to ban the use of eminent domain for a large wind-energy power line.
A state appeals court ruled in favor of a controversial wind electricity project Tuesday, putting the Grain Belt Express transmission line another step closer to construction. The project, which has been tied up in legal and legislative challenges for years, will carry wind-generated power from Kansas to Indiana on a 780-mile-long transmission line that includes eight northern Missouri counties.
The transmission line would carry 4,000 megawatts of wind power daily from Kansas to Missouri, but it's been delayed for years by legal challenges and legislative efforts to prevent the use of eminent domain.
The Missouri House endorsed a plan Monday designed to stop a company from building a high-voltage electric transmission line across the northern part of the state. ...“The basis for this legislation is to stop any entity from having the power of eminent domain for the purpose of constructing an above-ground power line,” said Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Frankford, who sponsored the proposal.
The court ruling appeared to give the energy company the right to use eminent domain to purchase land from property owners even though it's a private, for-profit company. Something Missouri Representative Sheila Solon (R-District 9) said is an overreach of government.
A state appeals court Tuesday backed state utility regulators over rural landowners and the Missouri Farm Bureau in a long-running case over a wind power transmission line running across the northern part of the state.
The appeal by the Missouri Landowners Association hinges on whether cash and easements should satisfy a requirement that companies own property in the state. It’s the latest legal hurdle for the long-embattled transmission project. If built, the Grain Belt Express would move as much as 4,000 megawatts of wind power from western Kansas across Missouri and Illinois to the Indiana border.
Missouri utility regulators on Wednesday unanimously approved Chicago-based Invenergy’s acquisition of the Grain Belt Express transmission line.
A Senate committee advanced a House eminent domain bill — which would be greatly detrimental to the Grain Belt Clean Line project — Monday afternoon.
H.B. 1062 specifically targets the Grain Belt Express, a $2.5 billion direct-current transmission line that would reach from southwest Kansas to the PJM Interconnection LLC grid in Indiana. The line would have 4,000 megawatts of capacity, with 3,500 MW going to PJM and 500 MW to Missouri, part of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) grid.
The Missouri House passed legislation Thursday that could effectively block one of the nation’s largest wind energy projects by prohibiting its developers from using eminent domain to run a high-voltage power line across the Midwest.
“In light of the recent PSC decision on the Grain Belt Express, the General Assembly will act to protect Missourians from private companies trying to seize their land through eminent domain. The legislation the House is moving forward is vital for many Missourians who otherwise would be forced to allow unreasonable restrictions on their family farms, damaging the value of their land and taking away their private property rights,” Haahr wrote in an official statement this week.
“We’re asking our Missouri farmers and rural areas to give up their land and their rights so that people further east can save on their energy bills? I don’t think that’s good for Missourians,” said Republican Rep. Dean Plocher, the chairman of the committee that advanced the eminent domain legislation. ...At a legislative hearing this week, Marilyn O’Bannon vowed that she and her relatives never would agree to provide easements for the transmission line to pass through about 5 miles of her family’s farmland near Madison.
More than 1,000 wind turbines and associated industries could spring up in western Kansas as a result of the Grain Belt Express. After years of setbacks, the project gained Missouri utility regulators’ approval late last month to proceed.
“We remain committed to defending property rights,” said Jennifer Gatrel, a spokeswoman for Block Grain Belt Express. Gatrel said there’s strong local government opposition to the project along the planned route and she believes many of the eight county commissions will refuse to sign off on needed assents allowing construction.
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.