The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a transmission line that will deliver low-cost wind power from western Kansas to Missouri, Illinois and neighboring states. The project will benefit Illinois by adding a new source of cost-competitive renewable energy, reducing wholesale electricity prices, creating hundreds of construction and manufacturing jobs, and providing revenue to local communities.
In November 2015, the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) approved an Order granting the Grain Belt Express Clean Line a Certificate of Public Convenience and Neccessity to construct and operate the transmission line in Illinois.
The purpose of this section of our website is to provide information and updates on the project to landowners and community members in Illinois.
Illinois Route Selection Study
The study describes the methodology and process to select the Proposed Route for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line in Illinois.
Landowner Compensation Fact Sheet
Clean Line is committed to compensating landowners fairly. This fact sheet provides an overview of the compensation Clean Line is offering landowners.
Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreement
This agreement with the Illinois Department of Agriculture commits Clean Line to take measures to mitigate potential impacts of the construction of the Grain Belt Express Clean Line.
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will deliver competitively-priced, domestically-produced wind energy to Illinois’ electric grid. Electricity customers in Illinois, both residential customers and businesses, will benefit from the low-cost wind power delivered by the Grain Belt Express Clean Line. A delivery station will be located in Illinois and the project will interconnect with the grid in Sullivan, Indiana, which is along the Illinois, Indiana boarder.
The Grain Belt Express project represents an approximately $700 million infrastructure investment in Illinois, consisting of approximately 200 miles of transmission at roughly $2 million per mile and an approximately $300 million delivery station. Clean Line has also committed to providing a voluntary payment of $1.4 million in revenues annually for twenty years to counties hosting the line, directly benefitting local community services.
Additionally, the project will create jobs through the actual construction of the transmission line, through the manufacturing of the components for the transmission line, and through the construction and manufacturing of the wind turbines needed to supply the line.
Clean Line Energy seeks to voluntarily negotiate 100% of its easement agreements and believes that the total compensation to landowners should represent a fair and good-faith offer to compensate for the impacts of the line. In exchange for a grant of an easement, Clean Line compensates landowners for the easement area, in addition to providing, at the landowner’s option, an up-front or annual structure payment for each structure located on the landowner’s property. The annual payment for the structures will escalate by 2% each year. Less than 1% of the easement area will be occupied by the structure footprint, and the rest easement area can continue to be utilized for farming, grazing cattle, and any other activities that do not interfere with the operation of the line.
The Illinois state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was first enacted in 2007, requiring investor-owned electric utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025. A higher percentage of renewable energy in Illinois’ electric mix can reduce fuel price volatility, create jobs, improve air and water quality, and lessen the risk from environmental regulation. In order to realize these benefits, enough cost-effective renewable energy resources must be available for Illinois utilities to purchase. New transmission lines like the Grain Belt Express project have an essential role to play in providing access to those resources.
Before developing the potential routes, Clean Line held dozens of Community Leader Roundtable meetings in Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois to seek routing input from representatives of more than 100 counties. We also sought input from environmental groups, elected officials and other interested parties to better understand sensitivities and current and future land use in each county.
The information we received from these individuals and groups helped us to develop potential routes. We hosted Public Open Houses to seek feedback on the potential routes from landowners and other interested parties, and we also sought feedback through our website and hotline number. We used that feedback along with additional research to refine the potential routes, evaluate routing alternatives, and select the proposed route. Please visit our routing process page to learn more. The proposed route is posted on the website here.
Please call the project’s toll-free number 1-855-665-3438 or submit a comment here.