January 14, 2011

Clean Line still optimistic about bid for utility status in Oklahoma

BY JAY F. MARKS, The Oklahoman, newsok.com 14 January 2011

A Clean Line Energy official still expects the company to win its bid for utility status in Oklahoma, despite a recent setback with a similar application in Arkansas.

The company plans to build an 800-mile power line from the Oklahoma Panhandle to the Memphis, Tenn., area to carry wind power to southeastern states.

Clean Line Executive Vice President Mario Hurtado said Arkansas regulators did not shut the door on the project, despite denying the company’s bid for utility status. The Arkansas Public Service Commission ruling, issued Tuesday, left room for them to reconsider the application, he said.

“We kind of see it as a bump in the road,” Hurtado said.

He said company executives knew it would be difficult to win utility status in Arkansas, an unprecedented distinction for a company engaged solely in electricity transmission.

Hurtado is optimistic about Clean Line’s application for utility status in Oklahoma, noting the state already has granted such status to another transmission company.

State regulators will consider the application next week.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has scheduled three days of hearings, beginning Wednesday, with time set aside for public comment each day, spokesman Matt Skinner said.

Hurtado said the company continues to build support in Oklahoma for its $3.5 billion power line project.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/01/14/clean-line-still-optimistic-about-bid-for-utility-status-in-oklahoma/