Commission holds power line hearing

The Missouri Public Service Commission had the last of its three public hearings for the Mark Twain Transmission Project Oct. 27 in the Student Union Building.

Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois representatives, residents of Adair County, private business contractors and Truman State students testified at the hearing regarding whether the PSC should approve the project in time for the scheduled 2018 completion deadline. The 345 kV transmission line, built by ATXI, would extend about 100 miles through Northeast Missouri to the Iowa border with a power substation in Kirksville.

Peggy Ladd, director of Ameren Transmission Stakeholder Relations, says the transmission line would improve the efficiency of renewable energy transportation for the Midwestern power grid. She says the line would travel through the Northeast Missouri Region, connecting the Illionis River Project’s transmission line in Marion County, Missouri, to a transmission line at the Missouri Iowa border. She says the project’s transmission line would travel through the Northeast Missouri region, connecting the Illinois Rivers Project’s transmission line in Marion County, Missouri, to transmission lines would have two segments connecting at a substation that would be built in Kirksville.

Community members present at the PSC hearings at Truman State University on Oct. 27.

Ladd says the project is one of 17 multi-value projects proposed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. during 2011. She says MISO requested ATXI build the line, but she says MISO would pay for the project’s $202 million construction cost using funds from a tariff filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She says the project first needs to be approved by the PSC after it reviews hearing testimonies. She says ATXI hopes to have an answer by late February 2016.

Ladd says ATXI requested the transmission run diagonally through property instead of following landowner property lines because doing so would reduce the line’s length from about 120 miles to an estimated 100. She says AXTI would do its best to financially compensate landowners by meeting with them to appraise the value of their property needed for the line.

She says appraisal values would depend on how the PSC approves ATXI to build the lines. If the project were approved, Ladd says other benefits would include an estimated $4 million in annual tax revenue divided among the five counties in northeast Missouri the line would travel through, with Adair County getting an estimated $1 million, the largest share of the revenue. Ladd says the project would provide about 200 jobs, roughly two people per mile of line, for the full year needed for construction.

For more from Ladd and State Representative Nate Walker continue reading on Issuu.