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Transmission line wins KCC approval


Special to the HDN

Special to the HDN

TOPEKA -- The Kansas Corporation Commission on Thursday approved an order granting a siting permit to Grain Belt Express Clean Line to construct the Kansas portion of a 600-kilovolt high-voltage, direct current transmission line, and an HVDC converter station and associated transmission facilities. The line would begin in Ford County in southwest Kansas and cross 13 Kansas counties. The 370-mile Kansas portion of the line would cut through Russell County in its way to the Kansas-Missouri border.

The KCC said the line represents an estimated $900 million investment in Kansas that is intended to enable $7 billion of investment in the development and sale of wind energy produced in southwestern Kansas.

In Kansas, the project is estimated to result in 2,340 jobs annually during the three-year construction period, and an estimated 135 jobs to operate and maintain the project on an ongoing basis. Additionally, construction of the associated wind facilities in Kansas is estimated to generate between 15,542 and 19,656 Kansas jobs, while operating and maintaining the wind farms is expected to generate 528 Kansas jobs.

The Kansas approval is contingent upon similar agreements in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, and the KCC ordered the cost of the project cannot be recovered from Kansas ratepayers.

A complete copy of the order is available at www.kcc.ks.gov, clicking on Docket Filings, and entering Docket No. 13-GBEE-803-MIS.