Grain Belt Express Clean Line issues RFI involving wind projects in Kansas

Grain Belt Express Clean Line, an affiliate of Clean Line Energy Partners(Clean Line), on Nov. 18 issued a request for information (RFI) to gather data about wind projects that are under development in western Kansas.

The intent of the RFI, according to the document, is to gather information about generators’ demand for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line’s transmission capacity and to collect data that will allow Clean Line to characterize the wind resource and production potential in western Kansas.

The data collected through the RFI will be used to communicate the need for more transmission infrastructure to regulators and stakeholders. The RFI also noted that more details about the wind resources in western Kansas will be helpful in discussions with utilities in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions that may be interested in Clean Line’s ability to transmit renewable energy to their markets.

The RFI also noted that while Clean Line will not provide stakeholders with individual wind generator data, the company will supply them with aggregate data that describes the high-capacity factor, low-cost energy resources in western Kansas.

According to TransmissionHub data, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line project is a 600-kV line that begins at Spearville, Kan., and ends at St. Francois, Mo. Construction of the project, which received approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) in December 2011, is set to complete in 2018.

According to the RFI, the $2bn, 750-mile project, which will deliver up to 3,500 MW of wind power from western Kansas to load-serving entities in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and states farther east, will enable more than $7bn of investment in new wind farms that will power more than 1.4 million homes per year.

According to a Nov. 18 company statement, earlier this month, the KCC approved an order granting a siting permit to Grain Belt Express, which is a public utility in Kansas and Indiana, to build the 370-mile Kansas portion of the line currently under development.

According to the RFI schedule, notice of intent to respond is due on Dec. 2, and Clean Line will return executed confidentiality agreements through e-mail on Dec. 20. The response form, along with any supplemental materials, is due on Jan. 13, 2014.

The response form is to include the project description and development overview; wind resource and technology; and indicative pricing.

Clean Line will sign confidentiality agreements that are received by Dec. 18, and if respondents would like to make changes to the form agreement, requests should be submitted by Dec. 4.

As reported on Nov. 18, Grain Belt Express Clean Line on Nov. 15 applied for FERC authorization to sell transmission service rights on the Grain Belt Express project at negotiated rates and explicit commission approval of the capacity allocation process.

According to the RFI, Grain Belt Express Clean Line applied to seek authorization to bilaterally negotiate agreements for 100% of the line’s capacity. The issuance of the RFI is not connected to Grain Belt Express Clean Line’s capacity subscription process, and Grain Belt Express Clean Line will separate issue notice of its subscription process and invite interested generators to participate.

Noting that Clean Line will maintain the confidentiality of all submissions, the RFI also said that summarized data about the total number of megawatts of wind under development, average wind speeds and average capacity factors will help Clean Line make the case about the strong benefits of wind resource to potential customers in the PJM Interconnection and Midcontinent ISO (MISO) markets.

Clean Line’s primary owners are ZAM Ventures LP and National Grid USA subsidiary GridAmerica Holdings. National Grid is a subsidiary of National Grid plc.

 

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at corinar@pennwell.com.