Clean Line seeks certification as public utility

A unique kind of transmission line will be built in Kansas if Clean Line Energy Partners has its way. The company has applied for a limited certificate of convenience for transmission rights to site, build and operate a 550-mile 500kV to 600kV high voltage direct current (DC) transmission line that would begin near Spearville and end at the St. Francois substation in southeast Missouri.

The line, which the company has dubbed the Grain Belt Express, would be built to carry power from wind farms in the Spearville area to the MISO region, which is more densely populated and has poorer quality wind resources than western Kansas. The company estimates that the project will cost $1.7 billion and will traverse about 300 miles through Kansas.

Intriguingly, the Grain Belt line will be financed entirely by investors, rather than by ratepayers. While CURB is still examining the company's application, we have to admit that we rather like the idea of building transmission lines without customers paying the bills.

For more information on the Grain Belt line, see the July 2011 CURBside.

KCC Docket No. 11-GBEE-624-COC