Clean Line wins key FERC approval

Developer Clean Line has obtained approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to sell capacity for its proposed 3.5GW multi-state Grain Belt Express wind transmission line.

Potential customers for bilateral agreements at negotiated rates include electric utilities and other load-serving entities, or clean energy generators. Generator interconnection to the Grain Belt Express will be subject to the requirements of the project’s open access transmission tariff.

Grain Belt Express is a 750-mile (1,207km) overhead direct current transmission line that will connect wind energy from western Kansas with utilities and customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and states farther east.

Houston-based Clean Line estimates the project will enable more than $7bn investment in new wind farms.

Clean Line recently issued a request for information (RFI) to wind generators in the western Kansas region, and results confirmed the need for transmission to access larger markets for renewable energy.

Developers of wind projects totaling over 13.5GW of potential capacity shared information on high capacity factors and cost-competitive wind energy prices.

Clean Line is a public utility in Kansas and Indiana and received a site permit from Kansas regulators last November to construct the 370-mile Kansas portion of the line.

“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,” says Tristan Vance, director, Indiana Office of Energy Development.