Grain Belt Express Appeals Case Upholds Eminent Domain Ruling
Over the course of his two-decade-long career, energy and utility law attorney Douglas Healy has represented energy providers in landmark cases. Attorney Douglas Healy recently went to court on behalf of the sustainable energy company Invenergy.
Invenergy’s latest wind energy project, Grain Belt Express Transmission line, is projected to bring more than 250 megawatts of energy to certain Missouri residents, in addition to consumers in other states. However, the project will cross over more than 200 privately owned plots of land, which has resulted in a series of legal challenges. Since the Grain Belt Express Transmission line will serve a significant number of Missourians, it has been classified as a project in the public interest and falls under the laws of eminent domain. This has enabled the company to acquire small amounts of private land for the project.
After gaining authorization from the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC), the ruling was appealed by the Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB), which represents a cohort of landowners. The MFB disputed the PSC’s categorization of the Invenergy project as a public utility. However, the State Appellate Court found that the MFB did not provide sufficient evidence to overturn the PSC’s decision. When completed, Invenergy’s wind farm will save Missouri consumers up to $11 million in savings annually.