A renewable energy transmission line expected to stretch from Kansas to the East Coast is now attempting to get regulatory approval in Illinois.
Invenergy Transmission, LLC has begun the process to get state regulatory approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission for its proposed Grain Belt Expressway transmission line. The project has already received siting approvals in Kansas, Missouri, and Indiana. The Missouri siting approval met with some contention in Missouri last Spring as some lawmakers attempted to stop Invenergy from using eminent domain powers, but was ultimately approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission.
As a part of their Illinois siting permit, Invenergy will be required to hold meetings along the transmission’s easement which runs from Pike County through Scott County and into the northern tips of Macoupin and Greene County as it treks east to Indiana.
According to the Pike Press, the primary and alternate routes for the transmission line are similar to those presented to the ICC in 2015 when Clean Line Energy Partners previously applied for a siting permit. The Grain Belt Express project was purchased by Invenergy in 2018. Invenergy says that the project is going to be built at no cost to Illinois consumers.
Controversy in Missouri carries over to Illinois because the project allows Invenergy, a private, non-utility company has eminent domain powers over privately held ground. The Illinois General Assembly created the ability for this action to happen through a law passed last year.
Phase 1 meetings of the project are expected at various locations, beginning in Pike County on February 15th from 5-7PM at the Pike County Senior Citizens Center in Pittsfield.