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Hearings set over Grain Belt application

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Public Service Commission has set a December hearing date to hear evidence on whether to approve the Grain Belt Express.

Formal evidentiary hearings on Grain Belt’s application to build a wind energy transmission line across Missouri will take place Dec. 18-19 in Room 310 of the Governor Office Building in Jefferson City. Grain Belt wants to construct its high-voltage line through Buchannan, Clinton, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Randolph, Monroe and Ralls counties.

The project, which is being pursued by a Texas company called Clean Line Energy Partners, has been at the center of a legal battle after the state Public Service Commission turned down the plan in 2017 because the company had not received permission from eight of the counties through which the line would travel. However, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in July that the type of certificate Grain Belt sought did not require that kind of permission, putting the decision back before the Public Service Commission.

A state appeals court in August ruled that a group suing the company and the Monroe County Commission did not file its lawsuit in time. The Missouri Landowners Alliance and Marilyn O’Bannon filed a lawsuit on July 28, 2014, to overturn permission the Monroe County Commission granted to Grain Belt Express for a high-voltage electric transmission line to go through the county.