FORD COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The benefits of the large project are being felt on a smaller scale in western Kansas.
The newly approved Grain Belt Express transmission line is one of the largest projects designed to carry wind energy across the Midwest bringing with it economic opportunities to rural areas.
The project has been in the works for nearly a decade, and now it is set to break ground.
The line is designed to stretch 800-miles across Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. Nearly 380 miles will cut through Kansas.
The project will pass through fourteen Kansas counties, starting in Ford County and ending in Doniphan County, bringing landowners a total of $35+ million.
The line is set to break ground near the Spearville area and is projected to bring nearly 1,000 permanent jobs to the state and over $8-billion in economic investment.
It will also create 22,525 additional, temporary jobs supported over the three-year construction period.
“It provides a lot of off-spin business during the construction time, and some very well paying permanent jobs as well as the different payments that are created for the landowners,” said Joann Knight, Ford County Economic Development Executive Director. “Most of the wind farms are structured with payment in lieu of taxes that help each of the taxing entities to get funding to help build schools, maintain roads.”
As of right now, it is too early to tell the full economic impact the project will have on southwest Kansas, but for the state, it is expected to produce $3.7 billion during the construction period and another $235 million annually once operations get underway.
For more information on the project, click here.
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