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Chamber endorses Clean Line project

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will move towards approval with key support from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry after the chamber offered its endorsement of the project Monday.

While final approval rests with the Public Service Commission, the chamber’s endorsement praises the potential economic benefits of the transmission line project.

“The Missouri Chamber recognizes the positive economic impact that will result from the Grain Belt Express, and urges Missouri regulators to approve this project,” said Daniel Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “Clean Line’s $500 million investment in Missouri and delivery of wind power to Missouri homes and businesses will boost our state’s economy and make the state more competitive when attracting new businesses here.

The Clean Line will use wind energy to provide power to municipal utilities throughout the state. A group of 67 local utilities have agreed to purchase long-term transmission service on the line, potentially saving ratepayers $10 million a year.

Kirkwood Electric joined that group of local utilities Monday, saying its consumers wanted a lower cost alternative energy source.

“As a public power agency, Kirkwood Electric continuously looks for ways to save our customers money, while diversifying our energy portfolio,” said Mark Petty, Director of Kirkwood Electric. “From residential consumers to small businesses, we continue to hear demand for more renewable energy at a lower cost. If approved by Missouri regulators and the Kirkwood City Council, the Grain Belt Express will make both a reality for Kirkwood’s utility customers.”

The line would be built locally, with General Cable in Sedalia, Hubbell Power Systems in Centralia and ABB in Jefferson City helping sourcing materials for the project. Kansas City-base PAR Electric will be responsible for the construction of the line.

5:00 P.M. This story was updated with Kirkwood Electric’s announcement that it would purchase from the clean line.