Letter: Missouri Should Approve the Grain Belt Express Infrastructure Project to Lower Energy Rates 

  

By Timothy Griffin, Mayor of Kirkwood and Tim Grenke, Mayor of Centralia 

At first glance, Kirkwood and Centralia have little in common besides being Missouri towns. One is a small rural town in central Missouri with a strong manufacturing base, whereas the other is a sought-after bedroom community in the heart of the metro St. Louis region. However, these communities, along with three-dozen more, have joined together in pursuing a generational opportunity to be powered by clean, affordable wind power.  But to bring these energy savings to our customers, Missouri’s energy regulators need to give the green light.

For years, the tradeoff for new energy infrastructure has been rate increases for consumers. But a new market-oriented infrastructure project in Missouri flips this notion on its head. The Grain Belt Express is a wind energy transmission line that would plug low-cost power from western Kansas directly and efficiently into Missouri’s electric grid and onto cities like Centralia and Kirkwood.

Already, more than three-dozen Missouri municipal utilities have joined together to purchase power from the transmission line. The municipalities, which stretch from Kirkwood to Columbia, Centralia to Rolla, have calculated that the Grain Belt Express will save Missouri ratepayers more than $10 million annually.

In addition to bringing energy savings to Missourians, the Grain Belt Express has committed to using local businesses to help build the line. For instance, Grain Belt will be sourcing component parts from ABB’s plant in St. Louis and Hubbell Power Systems’ facility in Centralia. Grain Belt’s commitments to use local businesses mean more jobs, more income, and more opportunity for Missourians.

We wholeheartedly support the Grain Belt Express because Missouri’s families deserve the lowest cost energy we can access.  Please join us in encouraging Missouri’s regulators to support millions of dollars in energy savings for our communities, good jobs, and a cleaner environment by contacting the Public Service Commission at 1(800)-392-4211 and expressing your support for the Grain Belt Express.