DOE issues DEIS for Plains & Eastern and identifies proposed route

The U.S. Department of Energy has released for public review and comment the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission line project. The Draft EIS describes the project, its purpose, and assesses its potential environmental impacts. TAEBC member Clean Line Energy (Clean Line) is developing the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, an approximately 700-mile overhead high voltage direct current transmission line and associated facilities capable of delivering more than 3,500 megawatts from renewable energy generation facilities in the Oklahoma Panhandle region to customers in Arkansas, Tennessee and other areas in the Mid-South and Southeast.  The Draft EIS identifies the proposed location of the direct current transmission line and other project facilities, and provides analysis of the potential environmental effects at these locations as well as alternatives.

Clean Line developed the proposed route for the direct current transmission line using a multi-step process that minimizes adverse impacts. Over the past several years, Clean Line received input regarding routes and other project locations from thousands of stakeholders, including landowners, local leaders, agencies, and conservation organizations in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Prior to making a determination whether to participate in the proposed project, DOE, in consultation with the Southwestern Power Administration, must complete its evaluation of the proposed project, including reviewing the potential environmental impacts pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Other federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, are cooperating with DOE in the NEPA review.  DOE is accepting public comments on the Draft EIS and will hold public meetings in January and February of 2015.

To learn more, click here.

Join us for “Opportunities in Energy: Public/Private Financing Options to Deploy Advanced Energy & Manufacturing”

When: Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Where: Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, 1640 Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN

Featuring: Kevin Knobloch, Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Energy

Wednesday, December 10th
1:00 – 6:00 PM

National experts will highlight best practices in advanced energy and manufacturing finance and discuss how we can grow advanced energy companies, technologies and jobs throughout Tennessee.

Presented by: United States Department of Energy, Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, University of Tennessee, and Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus

Click here to register and/or learn more.

TAEBC members participate in Knoxville Entrepreneur Roundtable

Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council members Mary Shafer Gill of ARiES Energy and Tom Ballard of Pershing Yoakley & Associates participated in the Knoxville Entrepreneur Roundtable on November 7, 2014 at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.

The panelists discussed how startup companies succeed and what factors are influencing entrepreneurship in the area. Perhaps the most captivating questions of the afternoon: “How can Knoxville grow into becoming the South’s mecca for entrepreneurship?”

Click here for a recap of the Roundtable, as told through the eyes of Cameo Jonas, a University of Tennessee student who attended the event.

Big on ideas, short on financing options?

TAEBC had the pleasure of participating in a workshop at the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy this week to brainstorm energy policy ideas and topics for consideration in the context of a state energy plan. The workshop complements a Baker Center project funded by the State of Tennessee to create a state energy benchmark profile as a prelude to a potential state energy plan development effort. Special thanks to Representative John Ragan, Chair of the House Energy Task Force, for his leadership on this issue and starting the discussion with stakeholders.

After hosting more than a half dozen listening sessions across the state this year, we know our members and the advanced energy industry have important information to share regarding policies to expand and strengthen the industry. We put much of that information in A Roadmap for Tennessee’s Advanced Energy Economy.

As you would expect, a lot of our discussions at the Baker Center focused on playing to Tennessee’s advanced energy assets and financing mechanisms for our great ideas.

One resource that TAEBC learned about during our recent visit to Washington D.C. is the “Guide to Federal Financing for Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Deployment,” updated October 1, 2014: a resource guide that lists the various federal financing programs for which energy efficiency and clean energy qualify — meant to make it easier for state, local and tribal leaders, along with their partners in the private sector, to find capital for energy efficiency and clean energy projects.

A priority for TAEBC is to identify financing mechanisms for advanced energy projects and inform policy that expands the industry, so stay tuned for more information.