Plains and Eastern Clean Line LLC has obtained regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to sell transmission service to customers at negotiated rates and to negotiate bilateral agreements for 100% of the line’s capacity.
The project, often referred to as Clean Line, is an electric transmission line project that will deliver up to 3,500 megawatts (MW) of wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to communities in Arkansas, Tennessee and other states in the Mid-South and Southeast.
In addition, Clean Line has proposed an intermediate delivery converter station in Central Arkansas that would have the capacity to deliver up to 500 MW of power, but that has yet to receive regulatory approval.
The announcement is touted as “low-cost, clean energy” that is “abundant and inexpensive.” It also comes on the heels of recently announced EPA regulations that seek to curtail coal-fired electric generation in favor of renewable energy sources, such as wind power.
“Oklahoma boasts some of the best wind in the country. We are pleased to see this approval from FERC to subscribe up to 100% of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line’s capacity. We believe it is another important milestone towards developing Oklahoma’s low-cost clean energy resources, enabling new jobs, and growing economic development in our state and the nation,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague.
Receiving this authority allows Clean Line to sell transmission capacity to potential customers of the project, including utilities and other load serving entities or clean energy generators.
From May through July of 2014, Clean Line conducted an open solicitation for transmission capacity on the Plains & Eastern Clean Line. 15 potential customers submitted more than 17,000 MW of requests for transmission service.
“We thank the FERC commissioners and staff for reviewing and approving our application. This approval takes Clean Line a step closer to building clean energy transmission infrastructure for Arkansas, Tennessee and the Mid-South and Southeast,” said Clean Line Energy President Michael Skelly.
Skelly said that Entergy, Arkansas’ largest electricity provider, had recently sent a request for proposal for renewable resources.
“The seven potential customers that requested transmission service to Arkansas in our initial open solicitation process provide ample evidence to indicate that the Plains & Eastern Clean Line project will be a key player for transmission service in Arkansas,” he noted.
Based on current estimates, the project is expected to achieve commercial operation as early as 2018.