Grain Belt Express Clean Line has finalized its proposed route for its electric transmission line. In Missouri, the route is proposed to go through Buchanan County, Clinton County, Caldwell County, Carroll County, Chariton County, Randolph County, Monroe County and Ralls County. The proposed direct current transmission lines beginning in Spearville, Kansas, and going through Missouri from approximately St. Joseph, across the north of the state to somewhere between Hannibal and Bowling Green, and continue through Illinois to Indiana, for a total of approximately 750 miles. The energy would be generated from wind power, and would be high-voltage-direct-current (“HVDC”) lines. The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a regulated public utility in Kansas and Indiana and anticipates becoming a regulated public utility in Missouri and Illinois.
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is being built by Clean Line Energy Partners (website: http://www.cleanlineenergy.com/).
Farmers in the path of the energy line are objecting to the idea of having easements for the power line go through their prime farming land. The towers would be 110 to 150 feet tall, and there would be four to six towers per mile. Property owners would be paid a one-time fee for the easement and towers on their land, or could opt for smaller annual payments. Farmers are concerned that the lines will reduce property values, prevent farming operations like crop dusting and irrigation, and also potentially create health risks for those living close to the HVDC lines.
The property owners also object to the easements because there are not yet any signed contracts to buy the energy from the Clean Line Energy.
Opposition groups have been holding meetings for landowners and other persons interested in stopping the transmission line from being built. The groups are Block Grain Belt Express (website: http://blockgbe.com/) and Missouri Landowners’ Alliance (website: http://missourilandownersalliance.org/).
However, the counties through which the energy line would go are supportive, because they could collect property taxes up to $800,000 per year from the lines.
Once Clean Line Energy is approved as a public utility in all the states it wants to build the line through, it will have the power to take the land by eminent domain.