How Kansas Can Deliver Sustainable Wind Power to Missouri
Springfield, Missouri-based attorney Douglas Healy has served as a member of Healy Law Offices, LLC, for more than a decade. Douglas Healy’s extensive background as an attorney in public policy and energy law informs his work with major clients such as the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) and Invenergy LLC, a Chicago firm that recently bought the leading interest in the $2.5 billion Grain Belt Express Clean Line Project.
The Grain Belt Express project proposes to deliver cheaper, cleaner energy through a nearly 800-mile direct transmission overhead line from wind farms in Kansas to cities in Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois. A recent appellate court decision supporting the state Public Service Commission’s issuance of a certificate of convenience and necessity to the project, over the objections of rural landowners concerned over the issue of eminent domain, moves it a step nearer to becoming a reality.
Backers of the project argue that Missouri needs the investment in new infrastructure, new construction jobs, and more abundant cheap power it would bring. Recent studies show that residents spend more than $18 billion annually on natural gas, at a cost of about $3,000 per capita, with the majority of those dollars directed to suppliers outside of the state. Missouri is also heavily dependent on coal shipped from Wyoming. Yet, the state’s energy demands continue to increase, setting energy costs to triple by about 2050.
Kansas’ wind power industry has more than tripled its megawatt capacity since 2008. Today, Kansas ranks among the top five states in terms of wind energy production and can support a developing infrastructure based on export to other states.