Thursday morning, the Kansas Corporation Commission voted to impose deadlines on Invenergy Transmission LLC, the new owners of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project. The deadlines will ensure that the 750-mile transmission line project moves forward without delay, after a lengthy history of starts and stops.
In July 2013, the Commission approved a siting permit for the 370 miles of transmission line that runs through Kansas and a converter station in Ford County. The line continues through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana with the goal of carrying wind generated energy to eastern states.
The 2013 order found that the Grain Belt Express would bring economic development dollars to the state as well as large-scale wind farm development in the Dodge City area. Approval was conditioned on construction starting within five years and getting approval from other states where the Grain Belt Express would be built.
With those conditions unmet in September 2018, Grain Belt requested a five-year sunset provision. The Commission granted a limited extension until March 1, 2019. In November 2018, Grain Belt announced it had agreed to be purchased by Invenergy pending Commission approval.
In June 2019, the Commission approved Invenergy’s acquisition of the transmission line after determining the company had the financial and managerial means to complete the project. At that time, the parties agreed to replacing a Sunset Term, which expires on December 2, 2019 with specific deadlines to obtain easements or financing. Those deadlines and conditions are what Commissioners approved on Thursday.