Farmers, clean energy proponents clash after court rules on wind energy project

1 month 2 days 17 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
By: David Estrada, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY – Different sides reacted Wednesday to the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling in favor of a wind energy project. 

In a unanimous decision, the Missouri Supreme Court sent the case involving the Grain Belt Express back to the Public Service Commission.

The commission denied the project permission to move forward in 2017, saying the plan needed approval from the counties it cut through before continuing. 

Leslie Holloway, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Missouri Farm Bureau, said the organization opposes the project. Holloway said a private company should not have the power to take property along the route in order to build a transmission line.

"We are opposed to granting the power of eminent domain to a group of private investors from out of state who are wanting to run this major transmission line through the state, not to serve Missouri customers but to provide wind power to costumers in the East Coast," she said.

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) argued the project would provide power to Missourians.

Ewell Lawson, Vice President of Government Affairs, Communications and Members Relations for MPUA, said the Grain Belt Express Clean Line would benefit 35 cities who are part of the Missouri Public Energy Pool, as well as Columbia, Centralia, Hannibal and Kirkwood.

"MPUA and the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission and its members have entered into a contract with some wind providers to utilize this transmission line that would bring low cost, affordable energy into the state of Missouri," Lawson said. "We see that that would provide little over a ten-million-dollars savings to our customers annually in the coming years."

Lawson said the transmission project would bring additional renewable energy into the state of Missouri.

"Many of our cities have landfill gas, they have wind, they have solar and they have hydro-facility power coming into each of those cities," he said. "This just adds to a more diverse portfolio in supplying our customers."

Holloway pointed out existing wind power projects in Missouri.

"This project is not going to determine, one way or the other, whether or not there is wind power," she said. "This is just one project of several, in fact Ameren has just announced the largest wind power project in Missouri. There is plenty of wind power being generated and being transmitted."

Holloway said the Grain Belt Express Clean Line could affect farming activities in the state.

"Any type of activity that a transmission line might be placed in the middle of is going to make it more difficult for that farmer or rancher to do what they need to do on a daily basis, in addition to which it would cost more," she said. "Time is money, so whatever types of adjustments they have to make to their normal management practices is definitely and adverse impact."

Back in 2017, the Missouri Public Service Commission denied an application filed by Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC (GBE) seeking Commission authority and a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct, own, operate, control, manage and maintain a high voltage, direct current transmission line and associated facilities.

According to a press release from the Commission, "it determined it lacked the statutory authority to grant a CCN because GBE failed to obtain all county assents necessary for a CCN as required by a Missouri Western District Court of Appeals decision in a Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) CCN case."

In a concurring opinion issued alone with the Commission's order, four of the five commissioners indicated they would have approved the GRE application if Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC had met its burden of proof demonstrating it had obtained the required assents.

The same press release said "four of the five commissioners found there was a need for the service offered by the GBE project, that GBE was qualified to provide the proposed service, that GBE had the financial ability to provide the service, that GBE's proposal was economically feasible, and that the project would have been in the public interest."

After the Supreme Court sent the case involving the Grain Belt Express back to the Public Service Commission, Holloway said the Missouri Farm Bureau would like to see it deny the request for the project.

"We believe that the Public Service Commission staff has already weighed in in terms of the project not meeting the criteria that are required in order to get approval," she said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - MU's campus was more crowded Monday compared to recent years. Freshman enrollment has the highest increase in... More >>
54 minutes ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in Continuous News
LEBANON (AP) — A 31-year-old Missouri teacher was given a suspended sentence in a case of sexual conduct with a... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 5:59:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers arrested two men in connection to a Monday shooting on Eastland Circle. Columbia Police officers responded... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 5:52:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Matt Garrett has been named general manager of KOMU 8 and Mid-Missouri’s CW. He has served in the... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 5:03:17 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
FESTUS (AP) — A U.S. Army helicopter was forced by bad weather to make an emergency landing at a restaurant... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 4:56:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After three weekends in a row of gunfire downtown, this past weekend was relatively quiet in comparison. Since... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 4:29:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A nurse who falsely claimed to provide health care services to Carl DeBrodie pleaded guilty to a... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 4:05:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A judge has sentenced a man to life in prison for attempting to rape a Missouri State... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 3:49:53 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A couple claims in a lawsuit that a former top lay official in the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Catholic... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 3:46:52 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
O'FALLON (AP) — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is investigating why a suburban St. Louis polling place opened 90... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 3:42:09 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In wake of the worsening drought conditions throughout Missouri, Governor Mike Parson announced in a press conference... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 3:14:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City council members will give the public its first chance Monday night to comment on the budget for... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An electrical fire at a Columbia shop caused about $10,000 in damages Sunday afternoon. The Columbia Fire... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 1:41:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Four people took a golf cart for a joyride Saturday morning, according to the Camden County Sheriff's... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 1:12:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri police are crediting the public for helping them find the suspect in a sex offense... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 10:23:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S., the Trump administration... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 10:20:55 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating three separate homicides over a 12-hour span. KMBC-TV reports... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 7:42:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
DIGGINS (AP) — Authorities say storms have damaged trees, downed power lines and churned up at least one small tornado... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 7:27:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
8pm 69°
9pm 68°
10pm 68°
11pm 69°