That process, at least as far as the City Council is concerned, begins Tuesday, Jan. 19, when that body meets in special session at 3:45 p.m. in the Board of Public Works Conference Center.

Could electricity generated on the plains of Kansas one day provide power in Hannibal? While far too early to say “yes,” the possibility certainly cannot be dismissed either.

Before any decisions are made information must first be gathered. That process, at least as far as the City Council is concerned, begins Tuesday, Jan. 19, when that body meets in special session at 3:45 p.m. in the Board of Public Works Conference Center. A closed session is also on the docket. The listed reason for the closed session is “sealed bids and related documents.”

The meeting will bring the Council together with the Board of Public Works Board members, whose regular monthly meeting is scheduled Tuesday afternoon.

Joining the BPW and Council will be representatives of the Clean Line Energy Partners. Clean Line Energy Partners are the developers of the Grain Belt Express project, which would feature a high voltage DC transmission line carrying wind energy from western Kansas through Missouri to Illinois and Indiana.

“We are gathering this group to hear a presentation by an alternative energy supplier that could potentially lead to a contract,” said Bob Stevenson, general manager of the BPW. “There will be no votes at this time, only a presentation if information and a preliminary assessment of risks and rewards for the community.”

Stevenson declined to provide any particulars, noting that he has been “sworn to secrecy.”

“The project developer is very sensitive to confidentiality at this point due to competitive concerns and the complexity of the proposal,” he said.

During the BPW’s December meeting, Stevenson reported the BPW had been approached by Clean Line Energy Partners about the purchase of not only energy, but a share of their substation that is planned near Center in Ralls County. The converter station is the only one planned along the route in Missouri, and reportedly is needed to convert the wind energy into usable electricity for homes and businesses.

At the December meeting, Stevenson said Clean Line Energy Partners had offered some “very attractive prices.” The BPW’s GM was also keen on the substation opportunity, calling it a “good investment to make.”

The Grain Belt Express project is currently in limbo after being denied a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in October by the Missouri Public Service Commission. The project, however, has been OK’d in Kansas, Illinois and Indiana.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com