The Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday announced plans to retire coal plants that generate more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity.
The move seems to prove there is a market for Clean Line Energy Partners, which plans to build a $2 billion direct-current transmission line stretching across Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The Plains and Eastern Clean Line would connect with the TVA system at Memphis, Tenn., carrying enough electricity to power 1 million homes a year.
TVA provides power for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. The government-owned utility is looking to diversify its power generating mix, as evidenced by its move away from coal.
“This will support our focus on cleaner energy and bring additional, necessary balance into our portfolio for managing our current and projected load profile,” CEO Bill Johnson told TVA's board.
Clean Line officials have said the planned transmission line across Oklahoma will spur the development of more than $7 billion in wind projects in the Panhandle area.
Clean Line and TVA signed a memorandum of understanding in 2011 on the benefits of the project.