Simon Mahan, SACE’s Renewable Energy Manager, contributed to this blog.
The plains have corn, but here in the south, we have rice. Both grains have the potential to serve a role in the 21stCentury’s electrical grid. A few weeks ago, rice farmers and other interested stakeholders met in Marked Tree, Arkansas, population 3,100, to talk about wind energy and high voltage direct current transmission lines.
Clean Line Energy Partners, a group out of Houston, Texas, is in the business of developing high voltage, long-haul transmission lines to connect the best renewable energy resources to the areas that need access to that power.
Clean Line has proposed a project they call the Plains and Eastern Project. They plan to build 700 miles of high voltage power lines to deliver about 3,500 megawatts of electricity from wind farms in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas to customers of the Tennessee Valley Authority. These lines will travel across Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee to connect with the TVA system just north of Memphis. This proposed Clean Line project will unlock vast, low cost, completely clean renewable energy for the Southeast.
Clean Line is looking to answer a fundamental question about wind energy: how does low-cost wind energy from the plains get transported to the power-hungry Southeast? In order to build its transmission line, the company is navigating a federal regulatory process by the Department of Energy that, in part, strongly promotes local stakeholder engagement.
If you’d like to learn more about the Plains and Eastern Clean Line project, or if you’d like to submit your own comment about the project, visit the Department of Energy’s website: http://www.plainsandeasterneis.com/