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The Grain Belt Express will bring clean energy from western Kansas to Missouri

Wind mills over farmland
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
The Grain Belt Express transmission line will deliver nearly 2500 megawatts of wind energy to Missouri customers — the equivalent of two nuclear power plants' output.

After nearly a decade of road blocks, Missouri's Public Service Commission approved final plans for the Grain Belt Express line, which will drop off 2,500 megawatts of wind energy in Missouri. Construction could start as soon as 2025.

A transmission line carrying clean energy into Missouri is one step closer to being realized. On Thursday, Missouri's Public Service Commission approved the final plans for Invenergy to build its Grain Belt Express transmission line.

The line will bring 5,000 megawatts of energy, or roughly four nuclear power plants' worth, from western Kansas through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, before sending it to other markets in the Midwest and beyond. It's expected to save residents of Missouri, Kansas and Illinois $11 billion in its first 15 years.

Around half of that energy will be dropped in Missouri. But the project has been highly contested, especially by those worried about landowners' protections. The project has been in the works for nearly a decade. Scott Rupp, chair of the Missouri Public Service Commission, said the approved plan more than just "an extension cord across the state."

"Now, several years later, it's up to 2,500 megawatts (of energy delivered to Missouri)," Rupp said. "That's kind of changed the conversation along the way."

  • Patrick Whitty, Senior Vice President for Transmission Public Affairs at Invenergy
  • Garrett Hawkins, President of the Missouri Farm Bureau
  • Scott Rupp, Chair of the Missouri Public Service Commission
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