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Mo. PSC adopts staff 'suggestion' that Ameren join Clean Line permit proceeding

Missouri regulators ordered 's local utility toparticipate in private transmission developer ' requestfor a permit to build a high-voltage, direct-current transmission line acrossthe state.

Clean Line's proposal for its Grain Belt Express Clean Line,which would run about 780 miles from western Kansas across Missouri andIllinois to a spot just over the state border in Indiana, includes a 500-MWconverter station in Missouri that would tie into d/b/a AmerenMissouri's system. The line is intended to deliver up to 4,000 MW ofwind-generated electricity into the PJM Interconnection LLC market. The Missouri converterstation is intended to provide direct benefits, in the form of thewind-generated power, to the state.

On June 30, Clean Line reapplied to the Missouri Public Service Commission fora certificate of convenience and necessity for the Grain Belt project, almost ayear after it was rejectedin a split vote. The June application was rejected on a technicality, and CleanLine resubmitted itin late August.

Motions to intervene in the resubmitted application were dueSept. 14. The PSC staff in an Oct. 5 filing said 22 parties filed timelyapplications to intervene, "however, Ameren Missouri was not one of thoseparties."

Since the Grain Belt Express line would interconnect withthe Ameren Missouri system in Ralls County, Mo., "staff has similarconcerns, as well as additional concerns that have matured upon further review,regarding the project's potential effect on the reliability of AmerenMissouri's system. Ameren Missouri is in a superior position to have knowledgeregarding the constraints and/or remedies associated with injecting andwithdrawing 500 MW of energy to the transmission and sub-transmission system.Therefore, staff suggests the commission join Ameren Missouri to thisproceeding."

Later that same day, the commission agreed, giving AmerenMissouri until Oct. 17 to respond to the staff's "suggestion" that itintervene in Clean Line's request. (EA-2016-0358)