The U.S. Department of Energy on Nov. 4 issued the final environmental impact statement for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Project, which would be a transmission pathway to get around 3,500 MW of wind generation out of Oklahoma and the region around it into other markets, through an interconnection with the Tennessee Valley Authority.
In June 2010, DOE, acting through its Southwestern Power Administration and the Western Area Power Administration, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for new power line projects. In response, Clean Line Energy Partners LLC of Houston, Texas, the parent company of Plains and Eastern Clean Line LLC and Plains and Eastern Clean Line Oklahoma LLC, submitted a proposal to DOE in July 2010 for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Project. In August 2011, Clean Line modified the proposal and subsequently submitted additional information in January 2015 at DOE’s request.
The proposed project would include an overhead ±600-kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) electric transmission system and associated facilities with the capacity to deliver approximately 3,500 MW, primarily from renewable energy generation facilities in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle regions to load-serving entities in the Mid-South and Southeast United States via an interconnection with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) electrical grid in Tennessee. Major facilities associated with the project consist of:
- converter stations in Oklahoma and Tennessee;
- an approximate 720-mile, ±600kV HVDC transmission line;
- an alternating current collection system; and
- access roads.
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, DOE has identified and analyzed potential environmental impacts for the range of reasonable alternatives in addition to the proposed project. These alternatives include an Arkansas converter station and alternative routes for the HVDC transmission line.
Clean Line’s stated objectives include: improving public access to renewable energy at a competitive cost by facilitating the transfer of available wind energy in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle regions to areas with increasing demands; providing an efficient and reliable interconnection between the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and TVA that facilitates the delivery of 3,500 MW of wind-generated electricity and is consistent with applicable transmission system plans; assisting in satisfying the growing customer demand for renewable energy; and providing safe, efficient and reliable transmission infrastructure consistent with prudent utility practice.