“There isn't a silver bullet out there relative to resources and energy needs,” King said. “We need to be developing and investing in it all. ... This project is an example of ensuring that the infrastructure and development of those resources in the future are available and being invested in now to be available in the future.”
Clean Line's progress
The 750-mile Plains and Eastern Clean Line transmission project is expected to be in operation by 2017. Clean Line representatives continue to meet with local officials and community leaders in more than 30 counties across Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee to find the best route for the $2 billion transmission line.
Other high-voltage, direct-current transmission projects by Clean Line would take renewable energy power from northern Plains states to Chicago; from Kansas to eastern Missouri; and from New Mexico to California.
Skelly said Clean Line's four projects are moving along, albeit at different rates because of permitting and regulatory processes.
“We learn a lot from all of our different projects, and we work very hard to make sure the knowledge we gain in putting together one project is reflected in efforts we undertake elsewhere,” Skelly said. “It's too early to tell, but maybe in a year or year and a half, we'll have a better sense of which one is first to market.”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this year approved applications for two of the Clean Line projects to sell transmission line capacity to utilities and renewable-energy providers.