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Mo. PSC denies Clean Line's Grain Belt Express application on technicality

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Mo. PSC denies Clean Line's Grain Belt Express application on technicality

Regulatorsin Missouri have again dismissed a request by to buildits Grain Belt Express Clean Line across the state, due to a technicality.

The MissouriPublic Service Commission on July 12 said the private developer did not filethe 60-day notice required for such a case. According to the , Clean Line said it isnot a regulated entity, so therefore the rule did not apply, or alternately, itrequested a waiver of the rule "for good cause" because it believed "ingood faith" that it was not necessary to file a 60-day notice.

Thecompany's arguments are not valid, the PSC found, and said the notice must befiled because of the contentious nature of the case.

"Thepurpose of this rule is to promote the public trust in the Commission byregulating communications between the Commission and potential parties tocontested cases," the PSC said in its order.

Whilethe term regulated entity is not defined specifically in its rule, in thiscase, it does apply to Clean Line because it is subject to PSC's authority "asis any entity that asks the Commission for permission to construct transmissionin Missouri," the PSC noted.

Additionally, the PSC pointed out that the company was "evidentlywell aware" of the requirement because it filed a 60-day notice with itsoriginal application for the certificateof convenience and necessity for the line.

CleanLine should file the required notice and resubmit its application, the PSCconcluded. (Docket No. EA-2016-0358)

Thetransmission line developer refiledan application for a certificate of convenience and necessity for the high-voltage,direct-current transmission line on June 30, just a day short of the one-yearanniversary of the regulators' rejection of its .

CleanLine touted the endorsement of large corporations including General Motors,Target and Proctor & Gamble, as well as the Missouri Industrial EnergyConsumers. The companies, in a letter to the PSC, said renewable energy accessplays a significant part in expansion decisions.

Thetransmission line is intended to run roughly 780 miles from western Kansas toSullivan, Ind., just across the border from Illinois, capable of carrying up to4,000 MW from wind facilities. Attempting to gain approval in Missouri, thedeveloper has proposed a converter station in the state that would allow 500 MWto be accessed. The other three states have already granted their approvals.

MissouriGov. Jay Nixon declared his support for the project after Clean Line committedto a new set of landowner protections. Nixon also cited an agreement reached bya group of the state's municipal utilities to service on the line that wouldsave ratepayers roughly $10 million annually.

Statelawmakers proposedlegislation in March that would prevent Clean Line from using the power ofeminent domain to build the line through the state. The opposition was led by agroup of landowners called Block Grain Belt Express.