Missouri PSC wants Ameren filing in Grain Belt Express case

The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) staff has instructed an Ameren (NYSE:AEE) utility that it wants to have the company’s input on the request by Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC to develop a 345-kV transmission line and associated converter station.

Grain Belt filed its application for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) on Aug. 30, seeking authorization to build, own and operate the Maywood–Montgomery high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power line and associated converter station.

The PSC subsequently set a deadline of Sept. 14 for organizations to intervene as a party. But the PSC did not receive an application to intervene from Union Electric Co. d/b/a Ameren Missouri.

On Oct. 5, however, the PSC staff filed “Staff’s Suggestion to Join Ameren Missouri as a Party.” The staff wants the PSC to require Ameren participate in the case as a party so “that Staff can obtain certain information relating to how Grain Belt Express’ proposed transmission line project may affect the reliability of Ameren Missouri’s system.”

“Staff’s pleading does not indicate that Ameren Missouri was provided notice of the request, so the Commission will direct such notice to Ameren Missouri and provide the company with an opportunity to respond to Staff’s pleading,” the PSC said in the Oct. 5 order.

Ameren was then instructed to respond the staff’s “suggestion” no later than Oct. 17.

The case at issue is File No. EA-2016-0358.

In June, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) $500m Grain Belt Express Clean Line.

On its website, Clean Line Energy Partners describes the Grain Belt Express as a project that will deliver about 4,000 MW of low-cost wind power from western Kansas to Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and neighboring states. The clean energy will be transported via an approximately 780-mile overhead, direct current (DC) transmission line.

The converter station would be located in Ralls County, Missouri.

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

The company said that it has achieved numerous milestones of late, most significantly entering into a transmission service agreement with the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC).

Clean Line Energy Partners is developing a number of major transmission projects.

In Illinois, Clean Line is asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that went against the Rock Island Clean Line power line project.

The primary owners of Clean Line are National Grid USA subsidiary GridAmerica Holdings; ZAM Ventures subsidiary Clean Line Investor; and Bluescape subsidiary Clean Grid Holdings. National Grid is a subsidiary of National Grid plc.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.