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FERC approves Grain Belt Express wind transmission project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the Grain Belt Express Clean Line (Clean Line) project to sell transmission service to customers at negotiated rates.

After completion, the 750 mile overhead direct current power line project will connect wind energy from western Kansas with utilities and customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and states farther east.

The project is scheduled to deliver up to 3,500MW, which is sufficient to power more than 1.4 million homes annually.

Clean Line Energy Indiana Office of Energy Development director Tristan Vance said, "The Grain Belt Express is a great example of how energy resource availability and technological efficiency can combine to contribute to a reliable, affordable, diverse energy mix."

Expected to achieve commercial operation by 2018, the project would enable over $7bn of investment in new wind farms.

The FERC approval has been issued in response to the application filed by Clean Line in November 2013.

This approval will enable Clean Line to sell transmission capacity to potential customers of the
project, along with utilities and other load serving entities or clean energy generators.

Additionally, Clean Line was permitted authorization to discuss bilateral agreements for 100% of the line’s capacity.

Generator interconnection to the Grain Belt Express will be subject to the requirements of the project’s open access transmission tariff.