(GOWER, Mo.) Landowners and community members alike voiced concerns and gathered information, as representatives from Clean Line Energy Partners held a forum on the proposed Grain Belt Express.
“We’ve been developing this for a couple years now and are expanding upon our outreach efforts here today to get try and get extra feedback on the routes and disseminate information on the project,” said Mark Lawlor, Director of Development for Clean Line Energy.
The Express is a multi billion dollar renewable energy project that would deliver wind energy from western Kansas to customers in Missouri and states east. The company would build a transmission line that would run 750 miles. This means they would need to build towers on people’s land.
“We want to maximize distance from homes,” Lawlor said. “We want to be cautious of environmental considerations.”
Bud Wilkerson owns land in Buchanan County. One of the proposed lines would run through his property.
“If they’re going to do something with your farm, you have to have concerns,” Wilkerson said.
The public meetings are part of an ongoing process by the company to inform concerned landowners in towns where the lines would cut through. Once they gather enough feedback, they will submit their proposals to the Missouri Public Service Commission. The company says they will work with landowners for appropriate compensation.
“All of them will be based on recent land sales in the county and that’s how we come up with the compensation amount,” Lawlor said.
The company says the landowners would receive an easement payment and keep all ownership rights. For those affected, these meetings are helpful to understand this complicated process.
“You can’t make a decision without proper information and correct information,” Wilkerson said.
Clean Line Energy Partners is planning to finalize the route by the end of March. Construction would not start until 2016 and be completed by 2018.
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