The Department of Energy’s (DOE) announcement last week issuing a Record of Decision for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project is a major step towards TAEBC member, Clean Line Energy Partners meeting its goal of delivering low-cost, clean energy from wind farms in Oklahoma to consumers in the Mid-South and Southeast United States.
This decision also has significant impact for TAEBC’s mission of fostering the state’s advanced energy technologies, companies and jobs. The $2.5 billion project is expected to support thousands of jobs in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, creating hundreds of manufacturing jobs within these states.
DOE’s decision was issued after nearly six years of study and evaluation, designating a preferred route for the direct current transmission line. The Plains & Eastern Clean Line will enable the delivery of 4,000 megawatts (MW) of low-cost, clean power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to customers in Arkansas, Tennessee and other states in the Mid-South and Southeast. The project will deliver the energy equivalent of four times the output from the Hoover Dam annually—enough power for more than one million American homes.
Clean Line has the potential to enable lower-carbon electricity, enhance system reliability and operate at a reasonable cost to consumers.
“We appreciate the support organizations like TAEBC have shown for the project,” said Mario Hurtado, Executive Vice President of Clean Line Energy.
With the DOE’s decision in hand, Hurtado said that Clean Line will enter the final stages of development on the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, targeting the project to begin operations in 2020.
The announcement marks the first use of Congressional authority conferred to DOE as part of Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with the objective of promoting transmission development. Congress passed this provision when it was becoming clear that the nation’s transmission infrastructure was beginning to show its age and needed modernization. Congress recognized the need for a modern and resilient grid that could accommodate increasing demands for power with newly available resources. Clean Line’s project was deemed by DOE to satisfy the goals for which Congress established DOE’s authority.
“Moving remote and plentiful power to areas where electricity is in high demand is essential for building the grid of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “Building modern transmission that delivers renewable energy to more homes and businesses will create jobs, cut carbon emissions, and enhance the reliability of our grid.”
For more information about the Clean Line project, including the Summary of Findings, which explains DOE’s decision at length, the Participation Agreement, the National Environmental Policy Act Record of Decision and more, visit Energy.gov.