United States

United States

Midwest wind power line expands to 5GW at cost of $7bn

A major new transmission line designed to carry power from wind farms across the US Midwest to major cities is to be expanded by 1GW, Invenergy Transmission has announced.

Following calls by state officials for more power, the transmission subsidiary of Chicago-based renewables developer Invenergy said the capacity of the Grain Belt Express line will be increased from the 4GW originally planned to 5GW. The line’s mid-point delivery capacity will be increased five-fold, enabling 50% of the power to be delivered via the project’s 2,500MW Missouri converter station.

While the overall project cost will now be US$7 billion, Invenergy said it will save consumers in Missouri and Illinois US$7.5 billion over the next 15 years in energy and capacity costs. Consumers in Kansas will save an additional US$1.0 billion, it added.

“As families and businesses face rising costs and power grid operators sound the alarm about regional reliability challenges, Invenergy Transmission is proud to be delivering solutions,” said Shashank Sane, executive vice president and head of transmission at Invenergy.

Approved earlier this year by state officials in Missouri, the line will run 800 miles (1,287km) from west Kansas through Missouri, to Illinois and Indiana, connecting wind farms to consumer centers.

Following the changes, the line will now be built in two phases, allowing accelerated construction of the section between Kansas to the Missouri interconnection point located in Monroe County.

Construction will begin in 2024 with operations commencing in 2027.

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