Invenergy, the company behind the high-voltage power line known as the Grain Belt Express proposed to go through Buchanan County, will be opening an office at 109 Fourth St. in Downtown St. Joseph.
The office will be opening in the spring and will assist the public and landowners on providing information while following COVID-19 protocols, Beth Conley, Invenergy spokeswoman, said.
There has been concern locally about the high-voltage line that will be going through northern Missouri due to eminent domain being used to install the line on private land. The Missouri Public Service Commission unanimously approved the Grain Belt Express as a public utility in Missouri after being upheld by every level of the Missouri Court system. This means local jurisdictions will not be able to block the addition of the power line.
The line will extend from Kansas to Indiana and will transfer wind energy from Kansas. Jurisdictions such as the Clinton County Commission had expressed concern about the Grain Belt Express going through Missouri earlier this year and questioned the use of eminent domain as well as how much Missouri would receive from the line as far as revenue and resources.
Conley said the line will supply power for 39 municipal utilities in Missouri, which she said will create $12.8 million in cost savings.
Conley said Invenergy has been in contact with landowners offering voluntary easement agreements for them to maintain ownership and continued use of their land and receive payment for the easement, which includes an upfront payment of 20% of the easement value.