Lawlor says wind energy project will bring jobs to Kansas and Missouri

Photograph: Mark Lawlor.Washburn Law alumnus, Mark Lawlor, '00, was interviewed by KMBC-TV in Kansas City about the Grain Belt Express Clean Line. Lawlor was representing Clean Line Energy Partners.

He says a major wind energy project will soon bring about 5,000 jobs to Kansas and Missouri and people who are interested can already start signing up to be part of the construction.

The project will build a system to transport the energy from wind turbines to places that need power.

"That's kind of the trick we have had in the industry," said Lawlor. "We can build lots of wind farms, but there is no way to deliver the powers. So you've got to have transmission in order to connect the resource to the demand."

The $2 billion project will build the Grain Belt Express Clean Line across a 700-mile stretch of land from southwest Kansas to Indiana.

"What that does is get you access to a really big market that doesn't have the same wind resource that we have here in the Midwest," Lawlor said.

State-by-state and county-by-county, the job will require hundreds of local contractors.

"We're going to need folks that supply concrete and aggregate, (people) that do civil work and roadways, surveys," Lawlor said. "That kind of expertise exists within all the communities we are looking to build a route."

Those jobs will just be for the transmission line. Once the gateway to transport the energy is complete, it will pave the way for even more wind turbines and another 500 full-time jobs at the wind farms.

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line will deliver renewable power from western Kansas to communities in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and points farther east that have a strong demand for reliable energy.

People interested in becoming part of the project can submit their business information to the company's website.