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GRAIN BELT EXPRESS CLEAN POWER LINE PROJECT

The Grain Belt Express Clean Power Line Project will deliver 3,500 megawatts of renewable energy from western Kansas to communities in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and several other Midwestern states that have a strong demand for energy. The clean energy will be transported via an approximately 700-mile overhead, high-voltage direct current transmission (HVDC) line, which will require large swaths of land acquisition across these areas.

The development and construction of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line is an estimated $2 billion. This project is still in the preliminary stages and still needs approval from several government entities. The estimated time for the required approvals and construction of the Project is five to seven years. Land acquisition began in 2010 and is expected to be finalized in 2014.

PRESIDENT OF GRAIN BELT EXPRESS CLEAN LINE TALKS WITH MID-MISSOURI RESIDENTS

 

RANDOLPH, Co. –

A controversial power line project carrying wind energy across Missouri counties continues to find opposition in Mid-Missouri counties.

Tuesday, the president of the company building the Grain Belt Express Clean Line offered answers.

The 750 mile long, high voltage transmission line would run through Chariton, Randolph and Monroe counties as it travels from Kansas to Indiana.

Last week ABC 17 News was at the Randolph County Commissioner meeting where several residents spoke out about their concerns with the Grain Belt Express Line.

Tuesday the company and its president were back in Mid-Missouri to talk with residents.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

GRAIN BELT EARNS FERC APPROVAL

 

Grain Belt Express has obtained regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sell transmission service to customers at negotiated rates.

The project involves construction of a 750-mile overhead direct transmission line that seeks to connect wind energy from western Kansas with utilities and customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and eastern states. Officials with Clean Line Energy Partners said it is designed to deliver up to 3,500 megawatts of electricity and provide enough energy per year from more than 1.4 million homes.

The FERC order was issued in response to an application Clean Line filed in November. The decision will allow the company to sell transmission capacity to potential customers, including utilities, other load-serving entities, or clean energy generators.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

BLOCK GRAIN BELT EXPRESS HAS SUCCESSFUL TRIP TO JEFFERSON CITY

 

Loren Sprouse of Block Grain Belt speaking to Michelle Gerstner from the Governor’s Office.

Block Grain Belt Express Missouri sent a delegation of landowners to Jefferson City on May 12th 2014. The delegation of concerned landowners was able to sit down face to face with the commission staff that will ultimately make a recommendation about the case. They presented the staff with 3088 petitions opposing the project. This is in addition to the over 3,000 letter the commission has already received.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

RESIDENTS QUESTION RANDOLPH COUNTY OFFICIALS’ SUPPORT OF GRAIN BELT EXPRESS PROJECT

 

HUNTSVILLE — A petition signed by more than 400 people opposed to a high-power transmission line project that would run through southern Randolph County was presented to the Randolph County Commission Thursday, but the petition and an hour of comments from opponents did not persuade the commission to rescind its support for the project.

Commissioners believe the Grain Belt Express Clean Line could bring with it millions of dollars of economic development and more than $800,000 in annual property taxes for the county budget. The Missouri portion of the 750-mile, $2 billion project from Kansas to Indiana still needs approval from the Missouri Public Service Commission, which could take months.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

GRAIN BELT EXPRESS FACES EMINENT DOMAIN CHALLENGE

 

Opponents of a planned electric transmission project hope action in the Missouri Capitol can stave off a bid to build the power network over their property.

A bill filed by Rep. Dr. Jim Neely, R-Cameron, seeks to change state law concerning eminent domain powers exercised by utilities. The measure would erase the power of eminent domain in certain counties along the route. In an executive session Wednesday, the bill passed out of a House utilities committee and could head to the House floor for debate, depending on the preference of the chamber’s leadership. It could also be attached to another bill and still stand a chance for approval.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

GRAIN BELT EXPRESS POWERLINE PLAN STIRS OPPOSITION

Property owners opposed to a planned network of transmission towers and power lines that would carry wind-generated electricity from western Kansas to Indiana through a portion of southern Randolph County fear the possibility of eminent domain, while Grain Belt Express promoters say the project is climate-friendly and a source of significant economic development.

Wayne Wilcox, Eastern District Randolph County commissioner, said he sees the project as an answer for the financially-strapped county health department and library district, as well as a boon for county school districts. The project could bring an estimated $800,000 in property tax revenue to the county.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

MISSOURI FARM BUREAU OPPOSED EMINENT DOMAIN FOR GRAIN BELT

Missouri Farm Bureau’s board of directors has voted to intervene in the Grain Belt Clean Line case which is presently before the Public Service Commission. Farm Bureau will oppose granting eminent domain to the company for the proposed electrical transmission line which it plans to build across northern Missouri. From western Missouri going east, the line would cross Buchanan, Clinton, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Randolph, Monroe and Ralls counties.
The Grain Belt Express “Clean Line” is a High Voltage Direct Current transmission line, approximately 750 miles long stretching from western Kansas eastward across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Electrical current carried through the lines will come from new wind turbine farms in Kansas.
“Missouri Farm Bureau has long been a defender of property rights whether it involved cases of eminent domain or regulatory abuse,” said Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst. “Our board of directors consulted with county Farm Bureau leaders and has voted to oppose eminent domain authority for the GBE project. The benefits claimed by the developers absolutely do not justify the granting of eminent domain to the newly-formed company selling electricity to out-of-state customers.”
Clean Line Energy is seeking public utility status from Missouri’s PSC so the company can use eminent domain proceedings to acquire easements for the 150-foot-tall transmission towers.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Clean Line and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

MO. RESIDENTS STAND FIRM AGAINST GRAIN BELT

MADISON, Mo. — Marilyn O’Bannon’s home sits less than a quarter mile from the proposed path for a new transmission line that would carry 3,500 megawatts from Kansas to Indiana.

That is more electrical capacity than is produced by the Hoover Dam.

O’Bannon’s family owns property along 6 miles of where Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston intends to build a 750-mile high-voltage direct current transmission line known as the Grain Belt Express. The line will connect to the PJM Interconnection grid, then send electricity from wind farms in the west to markets in eastern states where there is a strong demand for low-cost, clean power.

However, O’Bannon and her son, Jay O’Bannon, believe this line offers no benefit to Missourians and potentially could harm the landowners in 14 counties across the state.

“We don’t have a problem with green or clean energy sources. We’re all for that,” Jay O’Bannon said. “We don’t see the benefits to Missourians. We’re just a big extension cord.”

Direct current is an efficient and cost effective technology to move large amounts of power over long distances. The lines to carry the current create a smaller footprint than comparable alternating current lines. After its initial construction, the company expects $7 billion of new, renewable energy projects to be built.

The project is expected to create more than 5,000 jobs to construct the transmission line and wind farms, as well as more than 500 permanent jobs to maintain and operate the wind farms and the transmission line. The project kicked off in May 2010 and now is in the public appeal phase. The company aims for commercial operation by 2018.

The Missouri part of the line would run from St. Joseph to Hannibal and pass through Monroe, Shelby, Marion, Ralls and Pike counties. The Illinois route has not been published.

An activist group known as Block Grain Belt Express aims to stop Clean Line from using eminent domain to force Missouri landowners to sell 200-foot-wide easements. The group will host a number of meetings throughout the 14 counties within the next few weeks.

Jennifer Gatrel, whose family operates a farm in Caldwell County in Northwest Missouri, has been raising awareness of the transmission line since last summer. Gatrel believes that because Missourians do not benefit from easements, Clean Line should not receive eminent domain from public utility status through the Missouri Public Service Commission.

Clean Line intends to apply for that status during the first quarter of 2014. The activist group believes the transmission lines should be buried along a highway’s right of way.

Gatrel believes property values could plunge as much as 50 percent if the transmission line is built. Her own home sits 300 feet from the proposed path of the line.

“Who would want to buy a house in the country 300 feet from the country’s largest voltage line?” she said. “It’s just wrong for a private, for-profit company to come in and take (our land). Our story is just one of a thousand.”

Jay O’Bannon said the line poses a problem for the family farm’s Global Positioning System and aerial technology. The line also requires four to seven support structures per mile, and O’Bannon believes farming around the towers that stand 110, 140 or 200 feet tall will decrease efficiency.

Gatrel said support for Block Grain Belt Express has increased steadily in recent months. More than 130 people attended a public meeting in Madison, Mo., earlier this year.

“Our land is worth it to us,” Gatrel said. ” We’ve built it from nothing. We’ve sacrificed everything for it. Now we’re looking at it being devalued.”

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Clean Line Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

PIKE COUNTY BEGINS DISCUSSIONS WITH GRAIN BELT TRANSMISSION LINE

PITTSFIELD, Ill. — Two Pike County Board committees heard more Wednesday about a proposed memorandum of understanding with Grain Belt Express.

Grain Belt Express is developing an approximately 750-mile overhead, direct current transmission line that would originate near Dodge City, Kan., and cross through Northeast Missouri and West-Central Illinois in an effort to connect low-cost wind generation resources in western Kansas with energy demand centers to the east. The Illinois route has not been finalized, but Pike and Calhoun counties are in project’s Illinois study area as likely entry points from Missouri.

Rick Cornell with Grain Belt Express sat down with the county’s Ag and Finance committees to outline the project and the agreement.

No votes were taken or decisions made, but “it’s a situation where we at least started a dialogue,” Pike County Board Chairman Andy Borrowman said. “We did explain to him we thought we’d be willing to work with the company.”

State’s Attorney Carrie Boyd plans to contact the project’s legal team to clarify some issues and possibly make changes in the agreement providing details of voluntary payments by Grain Belt, not to exceed $7,000 per linear mile each year, which will begin when the project is commissioned for commercial service and last for 20 years.

“Sometime in the next month or two we will more than likely have a question before the board on whether they’re willing to sign an agreement, depending on what we hear from the state’s attorney and her recommendation,” Borrowman said.

Other questions raised targeted provisions made for demolition if after 20 years the line is no longer used, impact on county-maintained roads and easement compensation for farmers and landowners.

Farmland easements typically amount to $4,000 for each acre directly affected, but “some fair market value for farmland especially in the western part of the county are up closer to $10,000 to $11,000 per acre,” Borrowman said.

“There’s a lot of issues that are going to surround this project,” said Blake Roderick, executive director of the Pike and Scott County Farm Bureaus, who attended the committee meeting. “Farm Bureau has been supportive of the renewable energy projects. Direct current is a good way to move that across the country, but we’ve got to be concerned with the rights of our landowners and their ability to continue to farm and make sure that they have the best information and representation as this project goes forward.”

Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, which is developing the Grain Belt Express project, hopes to have final project approval by 2015, with construction starting in 2016 and the transmission line put in service as early as 2018. The project has been approved in Indiana and Kansas but not yet in Missouri or Illinois.

Full story originally published here.

If you think you may be affected by the Grain Belt Clean Line and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

PROPOSED PROJECT SCHEDULE – GRAIN BELT EXPRESS

GBX schedule 1

OVERVIEW MAP – GRAIN BELT EXPRESS CLEAN POWER LINE PROJECT

Grain Belt Express

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Landowners forget this one thing when dealing with utility companies that want an easement across their land.

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ROAD & REDEVELOPMENT TAKINGS

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