More transmission is needed to maximize America’s wind power potential

A new groundswell of support from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Fortune 500 companies like General Motors, Target, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s and Nestle mean a critical transmission project is one step closer to reality.

Clean Line Energy’s privately-funded Grain Belt Express will deliver enough low-cost wind energy for about 200,000 Missouri homes every year, and is projected to save the state’s families and businesses $10 million a year. These cost-savings are possible in part because wind power is now 66 percent cheaper than it was six years ago.

This week, Gov. Nixon signaled his office’s support for the project, and the companies listed above sent a letter to the Missouri Public Service Commission urging the body to approve the Grain Belt Express.

“With these new protections for landowners and millions of dollars in savings for consumers, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a good deal for Missouri. In addition to reducing energy costs, this $500 million construction project will also boost our economy and create good-paying jobs,” explained Gov. Nixon. “I appreciate Clean Line for answering my call for these enhanced landowner protections and for ensuring the transmission line is built in a way that creates jobs and saves money for Missourians.”

General Motors, Target, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s and Nestle employ over 10,000 people in Missouri, and they made clear the Grain Belt Express would help their businesses continue to thrive in the Show-Me state.

“Grain Belt Express Clean Line is an opportunity to provide our companies with a link to low-cost renewable energy at a scale that is meaningful,” they stated in their letter. “Access to renewable energy is increasingly important to our decisions about where to expand and to site new facilities.”

Corporate buyers like General Motors, Target and Nestle are increasingly looking to directly purchase more renewable energy because it helps them meet internal sustainability goals, and more importantly, is good for their bottom lines. The low-cost, long-term price stability wind power provides is highly attractive, and it’s one reason why companies, cities and universities signed over half of the megawatts contracted through power purchase agreements in 2015, a 77 percent increase over the prior year.

corporate buyer graphic

The Grain Belt Express has already been approved in Kansas, Illinois and Indiana.

The letter from General Motors, Target, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s and Nestle can be read in full here:

Grain Belt Express letter