DOE signs off on environmental review for Clean Line power line project

The U.S. Department of Energy will announce in the March 31 Federal Register that it is issuing a Record of Decision (ROD) on its plan to participate, through its Southwestern Power Administration, in the Clean Line transmission project, designed to wheel wind power out of Oklahoma into the Tennessee Valley Authority system.

Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) grants the Secretary of Energy the authority to design, develop, construct, operate, maintain, or own, or participate with other entities new electric power transmission facilities and related facilities located within any state in which the Southwestern Power Administration operates.

In response to an application submitted by Clean Line Energy Partners LLC on behalf of itself and several corporate affiliates, DOE will participate in the development of approximately 705 miles of +600 kilovolt (kV) overhead, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) electric transmission facilities and related facilities from western Oklahoma to the eastern state-line of Arkansas near the Mississippi River (the Project).

This decision implements DOE’s preferred alternative in Oklahoma and Arkansas as described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Line Project.

Clean Line, acting on its own and without the department’s participation, would build additional facilities that would connect to the project in Texas and Tennessee.

Collectively, the facilities built by Clean Line would have the capacity to deliver approximately 4,000 MW from renewable energy generation facilities located in the Oklahoma Panhandle and potentially Texas Panhandle regions, to the electrical grid in Arkansas and Tennessee. The potential environmental impacts associated with the project, plus the additional facilities in Texas and Tennessee, are analyzed in the Final EIS. 

This ROD uses two terms that describe related elements of the application being discussed. The project itself refers to those facilities in Oklahoma and Arkansas included in DOE’s decision to participate, e.g., approximately 705 miles of +600 kV overhead, HVDC electric transmission facilities running from western Oklahoma to the eastern state-line of Arkansas near the Mississippi River and related facilities, including a converter station in Arkansas. The term “Applicant Proposed Project” refers to the project plus the additional facilities that Clean Line, acting on its own and without the department’s participation, would build in Texas and Tennessee to connect to the Project. Collectively, the facilities would have the capacity to deliver approximately 4,000 MW from renewable energy generation facilities, located in the Oklahoma Panhandle and potentially Texas Panhandle regions, to the electrical grid in Arkansas (500 MW) and Tennessee (3,500 MW).

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.