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Grain Belt Express is the Latest FAST-41 Covered Project

Innovative electricity transmission project is intended to help midwestern states make the clean energy transition.

Contact Information 
Permitting Council Press Office (

WASHINGTON (February 22, 2024) – The Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council) is pleased to announce that the Grain Belt Express project is now covered under the FAST-41 program. Coverage under FAST-41 will ensure that the project has a transparent project timetable and will facilitate coordination between the project sponsor, the Department of Energy and the other Federal agencies that will play a cooperating role on the project’s environmental review. If permitted, this $2 billion electricity transmission project could play a transformational role in helping states and utilities in the Midwest shift from fossil fuel generation.

“The Permitting Council is pleased to welcome the Grain Belt Express project to FAST-41 coverage,” says Eric Beightel, Permitting Council Executive Director. “Coverage under FAST-41 will ensure that this project gets all of the benefits of a coordinated, collaborative, and transparent environmental permitting review process, which will lead to a more efficient and timely conclusion. Electricity transmission projects are key to lowering consumers’ energy costs and realizing the ambitious clean energy goals of this administration. We look forward to working with project sponsors and federal agencies to see this project through to the finish line to deliver the intended benefits of affordability, grid reliability, and more domestic renewable energy production.”

Phase one of the Grain Belt Express project is a bi-directional high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line spanning approximately 542 miles across Kansas and Missouri. If permitted, this project is intended to facilitate the delivery of affordable, reliable, domestically produced renewable energy generation to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and Associated Electric Cooperative Incorporated (AECI) territories in the Midwest. In addition to spurring the transition from fossil fuel generation to clean energy technology, project sponsors anticipate that this project will enable affected states to meet their renewable energy portfolio requirements and goals, while creating economic opportunity and energy security. 

The Grain Belt Express project is sponsored by Invenergy Transmission and the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office serves as the lead agency for permitting review. Learn more about the project by visiting the Federal Permitting Dashboard

About the Permitting Council and FAST-41 

Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41), the Permitting Council is a federal agency charged with improving the transparency and predictability of the federal environmental review and authorization process for certain critical infrastructure projects. The Permitting Council is comprised of the Permitting Council Executive Director, who serves as the Council Chair; 13 federal agency council members (including deputy secretary-level designees of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Army, Commerce, Interior, Energy, Transportation, Defense, Homeland Security, and Housing and Urban Development, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation); and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. 

The Permitting Council coordinates federal environmental reviews and authorizations for projects that seek and qualify for FAST-41 coverage. FAST-41 covered projects are entitled to comprehensive permitting timetables and transparent, collaborative management of those timetables on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41 covered projects may be in the renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, energy storage, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, carbon capture, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software, quantum information science and technology, data storage and data management, and cybersecurity sectors.  


Last updated: Thursday, February 22, 2024