Grain Belt Express wind RFI receives 13,500 MW response

HOUSTON (January 23, 2014) – Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC, an affiliate of Clean Line Energy Partners LLC (Clean Line) of Houston, Texas is pleased to announce the results from the recent Request for Information (RFI) issued to wind generators.  The results prove that there are high-quality wind resources in and around western Kansas ready to provide affordable, clean energy to millions of consumers via the overhead, direct current Grain Belt Express Clean Line (Grain Belt Express) transmission project.  

The data from the RFI confirm that project developers in the western Kansas region are developing projects with the capability to produce over 13,500 megawatts (MW) wind power.  These projects demonstrate the need for new transmission capacity to access areas with a strong demand for low-cost, renewable power. The 13,500 MW of proposed projects represent more than three times the 3,500 MW delivery capacity of the Grain Belt Express. 

The responses to the RFI provide valuable information about generators’ need for the Grain Belt Express transmission capacity as well as the wind resource and production potential of the western Kansas region.  While pricing details will not be made public, the proposed costs of energy submitted through the RFI were in line with other wind energy power purchase agreements recently signed in this region. 

“Western Kansas possesses an excellent wind resource that is among the country’s best.  With proposed projects representing more than three times the delivery capacity of the Grain Belt Express, the data we received affirms our belief that this project is needed to deliver competitively priced, renewable energy to communities and customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and states farther east,” said Michael Skelly, President of Clean Line Energy.  “We would like to thank all the generators that participated in this RFI.  We will continue to work with generators and power purchasers to get this valuable resource to market.”

“The wind energy industry in Kansas has potential for continued strong growth,” Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary Pat George said. “That is great news for our state as the industry continues to create new jobs, invest in Kansas and help drive our growing economy.”

The Grain Belt Express is estimated to enable more than $7 billion of investment in new wind farms in the western Kansas region.  Grain Belt Express is a public utility in Kansas and Indiana and received an order from the Kansas Corporation Commission in November of 2013, granting a siting permit to construct the 370-mile Kansas portion of the line.

“Kansas is blessed with some of the most valuable wind energy resources in America, ranking second of the fifty states.  Harvesting that resource will help grow the state’s economy, while benefiting landowners, taxpayers, the environment, and electricity consumers,” said Jeff Clark, Executive Director of The Wind Coalition, a non-profit association formed to encourage the development of the vast wind energy resources of the south central United States.  “Access to robust transmission will help get this clean, infinite power to market.”