Missouri Public Service Commission Approves Tiger Connector Extension to the Grain Belt Express Transmission Line
On October 23, 2023, the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Invenergy’s request to expand its proposed Grain Belt Express Transmission line with an extension to run from Monroe County down to Callaway County. It will also pass through Audrain County. The extension will be an A/C line with the capacity of carrying 2,500 megawatts of electricity for use by Missouri utilities. The extension has been named the “Tiger Express” by Invenergy - the owner of the Grain Belt Express Project. The PSC also approved increasing the main Grain Belt Express line from 4,000 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts.
The Grain Belt project will now be constructed in two phases. Phase 1 will run from Kansas to Monroe County and then south to Callaway County. Phase 2 will pick up in Monroe County and cross to the east into Illinois and then terminate just inside Indiana. Invenergy, a Chicago based company, has indicated it intends to start construction on Phase 1 later in 2024 and then start on Phase 2 eighteen months later.
The Grain Belt Express transmission line is an 800-mile-long multistate power line that will stretch from Kansas to Indiana., was approved in a 4-to-1 vote by energy regulators with the Missouri Public Service Commissions
Missouri lawmakers attempted to block the vote as opponents called a violation of property rights. Many of the more than 500 landowners along the route opposed the project, saying it was a land grab from a private company that would offer little value.
Developers of a high-powered transmission line running through northern Missouri and Illinois say the project has all the necessary state approvals to begin first-phase construction. Chicago-based Invenergy made the announcement after the Missouri Public Service Commission approved an updated plan last week. The roughly $7 billion project will bring clean energy from Kansas to an end point just inside the Illinois-Indiana state line. Along the way, it will deliver some power to communities in Missouri and Illinois.
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What Are My Rights?
Many property owners do not realize they have a right to compensation for transmission line easements. If even a portion of their property needs to be used by Grain Belt Express, owners are entitled under the Constitution to receive just compensation.
Just compensation includes not only the value of the property lost to electric utilities, but also damage done to the remaining property. Property owners should consult an attorney before signing any documents effecting their property. Attorneys at Denlow & Henry provide an initial consultation at no charge to a property owner.
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