CLARK CO, Il (WTWO/WAWV) — The Clark County Board and Farm Bureau are opposing the extension of the Grain Belt Express.
It’s a direct high voltage line that produces renewable energy from Kansas across the Midwest. If approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission, the line would extend hundreds of miles across the state in nine counties, including Clark, before ending in Sullivan County in Indiana.
On Friday, the Board held a meeting at the Clark County Courthouse in Marshall and unanimously approved a resolution to “oppose the Grain Belt Express Electric Transmission Line.”
However, the vote only provides political support. The future of the project is up to the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Farm Bureau Manager, Tony Trimble said he disapproves of the project due to it possibly interfering with land owned by local farmers.
“We’re concerned about private property rights being taken away. We’ve heard from many of our members along the project line about how upset they are about the project,” He added.
According to the company’s website, over two billion dollars will be invested into infrastructure and the estimated carbon reduction equals taking two million cars off of the roadway a year.
“Landowners that could be potentially impacted by the project, we’ve sent letters to them and gave them the opportunity to talk to us. The next step is we prepare our statement to the Illinois Commerce Commission,” Brad Pnazek, VP of Transmission Development with Invenergy, said.
Those who favor the project also say the local labor force will be used. A timeline for construction is not yet known.
“With the changing energy mix here in our nation, the Grain Belt Express is delivering that affordable, reliable energy to our customers here,” He added.
While the Board’s resolution doesn’t change the project’s future, Trimble appreciates the support.
“It’s a statement, it doesn’t impact the project. It just says we oppose it,” Trimble added.
All required information for the project is anticipated to be submitted to the ICC by June or July.