Plains and Eastern Clean Line (Clean Line) has obtained a key regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin negotiating transmission service agreements with potential customers of the transmission line project.
Claremore’s Pelco Structural has an agreement with Plains & Eastern Clean Line to manufacture tubular steel structures for the project.
The FERC order was issued in response to the application filed by Clean Line in June 2012. Receiving this authority will allow Clean Line to negotiate rates with potential customers of the project, likely utilities and other load serving entities or clean energy generators. FERC granted Clean Line the authority to subscribe up to 75 percent of the line’s transmission capacity with anchor tenants. The remainder of the transmission capacity will be offered through an open season process under the same terms and conditions agreed to by anchor customers.
The Plains & Eastern Clean Line is an approximately 750-mile overhead high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line that will connect clean energy from western Oklahoma, northern Texas, and southwestern Kansas with utilities and customers in Tennessee, Arkansas, and other markets in the Mid-South and the Southeast.
The project will deliver approximately 3,500 megawatts, providing enough energy to power the equivalent of over 1 million homes.
“This approval from FERC is a great step towards developing Oklahoma’s low-cost clean energy resources,” said Oklahoma Energy Secretary Michael Ming. “The Plains & Eastern Clean Line will create jobs, while enabling billions of dollars of investments in Oklahoma’s clean energy industry.”
In its application, Clean Line addressed the following standards: just and reasonable rates; the potential for undue discrimination; the potential for undue preference, including affiliate preference; and regional reliability and operational efficiency requirements. Clean Line also described why granting its request, as detailed in the application, will be in the public interest.
“In response to the favorable FERC ruling, Steve Patterson, Executive Director of the Arkansas
Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) said, “Arkansas has become a key manufacturing state for the wind industry. Projects like the Plains & Eastern Clean Line will stimulate Arkansas’ clean energy industry while providing jobs, economic growth and a sustainable energy future for the state and the rest of the country.”
The Plains & Eastern Clean Line has made significant progress in community outreach, engineering and design. The project team has met with over 1,800 individuals in the project area and held roundtable meetings with local officials and community leaders in more than 30 counties across Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee to gather feedback about the study area and issues related to siting the project responsibly.
“We thank the FERC commissioners and staff for reviewing our application. This approval takes Clean Line a step closer to building a clean energy future for the Southeast,” said Michael Skelly, President of Clean Line Energy Partners. “We are excited at the momentum surrounding the Plains & Eastern Clean Line and we look forward to working with our local, state, and federal stakeholders as we continue to develop the transmission line project in a responsible and transparent manner.”
Clean Line is committed to using labor, contractors, and service providers from states where the project will be located during the construction of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line. Clean Line Energy, Fluor Corporation and Pike Electric Corporation recently held a series of meetings inviting local businesses to learn about the Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project and to provide information on those businesses’ capabilities. The Plains & Eastern Clean Line signed an agreement with General Cable to supply the aluminum and steel conductor for the line from its facility in Malvern, Ark.
Developing a project of this scale is a long-term undertaking. Based on current estimates, the project is expected to achieve commercial operation in 2017.