The Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) has approved the purchase of a long-term transmission service on the 500MW Grain Belt Express Clean Line to stengthen access to renewable energy.

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The agreement is anticipated to save Missouri municipal ratepayers about $10m annually when the project starts operations.

The project will offer MJMEUC member municipalities with long-term transmission access to wind energy from western Kansas.

The deal, together with a power purchase agreement with a wind generator in western Kansas, will enable various MJMEUC’s member-city utilities to secure wind energy at less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour for about 25 years.

However, the deal is subject to the Missouri Public Service Commission’s decision on approval for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line.

Regulatory commissions in Kansas, Illinois and Indiana have approved the project.

MJMEUC president and general manager Duncan Kincheloe said: "The Grain Belt Express transmission project will help reduce electricity prices to consumers and satisfy increasing customer and business demand for clean energy.

"This agreement, along with a PPA for wind energy, will save our member utilities more than $10 million annually since it is timed to replace more costly power contracts for fossil fuel fired generation that will expire as this project is scheduled to come on line."

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a nearly 780-mile overhead, direct current transmission line that will deliver wind energy from western Kansas to utilities and customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and neighboring states.

It will deliver about 4,000MW of low-cost, renewable power and enough clean energy for 1.6 million homes per year.

Clean Line Energy President Michael Skelly said: "This is a great opportunity for thousands of utility customers across Missouri to access the benefits of low-cost wind power delivered directly to the Missouri grid.

"We are pleased to have the Missouri municipal utilities as a customer for the Grain Belt Express and look forward to applying for regulatory approval in Missouri soon. This is a great step forward for the Grain Belt Express."


Image: Missouri Joint Municipal Electricity Utility Commission is planning to enter into energy transmission agreement with Grain Belt Express Clean Line. Photo: Courtesy of twobee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.