- The Tennessee Regulatory Authority approved a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Plains & Eastern Clean Line LLC, a subsidiary of Clean Line Energy Partners, clearing an obstacle for the delivery of Oklahoma wind to Memphis.
- The certificate allows Plains & Eastern Clean Line to operate as a transmission-only public utility in the state, making it easier to route the planned $2 billion, 700-mile, high voltage direct current (HVDC) line from the Oklahoma Panhandle to utilities and markets throughout the Southeast.
- DOE issued its Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line in December 2014. Following a public comment period, it will likely issue a Final EIS later this year. That is expected to clear the way for the 2 year to 3 year construction period to begin so that the project can go into service by 2019.
“You can’t get enough clean energy from distributed resources,” former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) chairman and staunch distributed energy resources (DERs) advocate Jon Wellinghoff told Utility Dive. “We need these clean remote resources and transmission lines to get them to the load.”
Clean Line Energy Partners (CLEP) is working on five lines “to connect the best resources in the country with load centers that don’t have access to them,” President Michael Skelly recently told Utility Dive. “It is a very simple idea. The execution is quite complex. For five years, we have been going at it brick by brick, county by county, landowner by landowner, state by state.”
Because the project is expected to provide jobs and revenues, the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County last year approved an 11-year tax abatement for the project. It was also endorsed by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry.