Grain Belt Express Approved by Illinois Commerce CommissionMarch 2023
Initial siting approvals have now been granted by all states for the HVDC portion of the $7 billion electric transmission infrastructure project’s route
SPRINGFIELD, IL (March 8, 2023) – Today, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) granted the Grain Belt Express transmission line project a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), marking the successful conclusion of over a yearlong public input and review process. The approval will enable $4.3 billion in expected energy cost savings for Illinois energy consumers, while helping to address growing concerns about regional power grid reliability.
“Invenergy Transmission and Grain Belt Express are proud of this important milestone toward our goal of delivering more affordable and reliable power here in Invenergy’s home state of Illinois and across the Midwest,” said Shashank Sane, Invenergy’s executive vice president and head of transmission. “Today’s ruling by the Illinois Commerce Commission demonstrates Illinois’ continued leadership to advance affordable, clean energy and shows Illinois understands that long-distance transmission is essential to grid reliability, affordability, and achieving the state’s clean energy objectives.”
With this ruling by the ICC, Grain Belt Express has now secured initial siting approvals for the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) portion of the line by state utility regulators in all states along the project’s route – Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
Key stakeholders reacted to the Illinois Commerce Commission decision, hailing the approval as an important victory for Illinois’ economy.
“At a time of volatile energy prices, smart, cost-efficient investments in the power grid are vital to securing clean, affordable energy for electricity customers in the long run,” Citizens Utility Board (CUB) Executive Director David Kolata said. “Approving projects like Grain Belt Express could provide Illinois consumers with $4.3 billion in energy savings. There is an urgent need to increase grid reliability and ease the burden of high power prices on consumers, and we can’t do that without strategically designed transmission projects like this. We applaud the ICC for taking action.”
“ICC’s approval of this project is a big win for Illinois workers and our economy,” said Randy Harris, director of the Midwest Region of the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET). “The project has shown a commitment to hire local residents to construct and develop this vital project in our state, creating jobs for our members across central Illinois. We are excited to see this project one step closer to the start of construction.”
“Grain Belt Express is an important project for energy consumers not only in Illinois but across the Midwest. We applaud the ICC’s decision,” said Mark Denzler, President and CEO, of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “This project will deliver billions in energy cost savings. Energy infrastructure investment is key to ensuring our region maintains our traditional energy cost advantage and manufacturing competitiveness.”
In addition to the $4.3 billion in expected energy cost savings from Grain Belt Express in Illinois, the project will deliver billions more in energy and capacity cost savings regionally over 15 years for route state consumers. Additional economic benefits for Illinois include:
- $1.3 billion in new economic activity during construction for Illinois from the line and enabled generation
- 1,400 direct jobs supported during construction
- $565 million in supported wages in Illinois
In its ruling, the ICC found that Grain Belt Express had satisfied all the requirements under the law to be granted a CPCN and approved the proposed route with no changes. The public can stay up to date on the project by visiting www.grainbeltexpress.com.
About Invenergy Transmission
Invenergy Transmission is an affiliate of Invenergy. Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own, and operate large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Invenergy’s home office is located in Chicago, and it has regional development offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Poland, and Scotland. Invenergy and its affiliated companies have successfully developed more than 30,000 megawatts of projects that are in operation, construction, or contracted, including wind, solar, transmission infrastructure and natural gas power generation and advanced energy storage projects. Learn about Invenergy at Invenergy.com.
About Grain Belt Express
Grain Belt Express is a $7 billion electric transmission infrastructure project connecting four states—Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana—across 800 miles. An Invenergy Transmission project, Grain Belt Express will carry more affordable, reliable power to millions of homes and businesses across the Midwest and other regions, delivering 100% domestic, clean electricity while powering economic opportunity and energy security.
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