The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will bring about tremendous economic development in the communities that host the line, create thousands of temporary jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs, and dramatically reduce pollutants by millions of tons.
In addition to job creation benefits, consumers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and neighboring states--both residential customers and businesses--will benefit from lower electricity prices resulting from the increased competition in electricity supply that the project will bring. This is because direct current transmission line technology enables the direct delivery of clean power at a competitive cost.
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It is estimated that the Grain Belt Express Clean Line will create more than 5,000 construction jobs to construct the transmission line and wind farms and more than 500 permanent jobs to maintain and operate the wind farms and the transmission line. The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will create employment opportunities in many sectors including manufacturing of turbines, structures and conductor, construction, and hospitality.
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a $2 billion electric transmission line project that will create a new link between abundant renewable energy resources and areas with strong demand for power.
Each of the counties that host the transmission line will benefit from increased tax revenue, which can be used for schools and roads, and many other public services.
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will make possible approximately $7 billion of investment in renewable power projects that could not otherwise be built due to limitations of the existing electric transmission grid.
The wind farms made possible by the transmission line will support the manufacturing of new wind turbines and enable significant financial contribution to local communities through employment opportunities, direct government payments and landowner payments.
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will deliver approximately 4,000 megawatts of low-cost, clean power, or enough energy for 1.6 million homes, based on average electricity consumption.
The wind energy delivered by the transmission line will put downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices because it will be cost competitive with other sources of generation. Residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and states farther east are likely to benefit from the increased market competition.
The wind energy delivered by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line will allow other generators to run less and burn less fuel by eliminating the need for the equivalent amount of energy to be derived from fossil fuels, thereby reducing pollution. The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide pollution by 14 million tons per year, nitrogen oxides pollution (a contributor to smog) by 10,000 tons per year, and it will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (a precursor to acid rain) by 22,000 tons per year.
The wind energy delivered by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line will reduce water withdrawal from lakes and rivers by 4 billion gallons per year. Because thermal plants require a large amount of water to cool and power steam turbines, displacing nonrenewable generation saves a tremendous amount of water.
By utilizing direct current technology, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line will complement the existing alternating current (AC) system. Direct current transmission substantially lowers energy losses when moving large amounts of power over long distances, while using narrower easements (less land) than comparable AC lines.
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will also increase electric reliability by utilizing direct current converter stations which allow operators to control the flow of power. Read more about direct current technology.