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Major transmission line planned across Oklahoma, Arkansas receives federal approval for sales

by Paul Monies Modified: August 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: August 19, 2014
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Federal regulators have approved plans to sell capacity to customers of a direct-current electricity transmission line planned for Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave approval of the sales to Plains and Eastern Clean Line, a 700-mile high-voltage line from the Oklahoma Panhandle to Memphis, Tenn. The $2 billion project is one of five planned across the country by Clean Line Energy Partners LLC.

Clean Line said the approval will allow it to sell 100 percent of the capacity on the Plains and Eastern line to utilities and other customers. In addition, the company plans a converter station in central Arkansas to take up to 500 megawatts of the 3,500 megawatt capacity of the project.

“This approval takes Clean Line a step closer to building clean energy transmission infrastructure for Arkansas, Tennessee and the Mid-South and Southeast,” said Michael Skelly, president of Clean Line Energy.

The Plains and Eastern transmission line will take wind power from the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles and western Kansas to utilities in the southeast.

The company has yet to pick a specific route, but it has identified a corridor through Oklahoma and Arkansas, where the transmission line could be located.

Direct-current lines — as opposed to alternating-current transmission lines — allow large amounts of electricity to travel long distances with fewer line losses.

Customers line up

Mario Hurtado, Clean Line’s executive vice president of development, said the company had a positive response from potential customers earlier this summer.

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by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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For more information on the Plains and Eastern Clean Line federal environmental review, go to www.plainsandeasterneis.com.

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