ENID – Clean Line Energy representatives hope to resolve a number of issues with landowners before they connect a transmission line to wind turbines in northwest Oklahoma.
For that reason, company representatives have asked for and have been granted a continuance until early March on a hearing that would grant the Houston-based company public utility status in Oklahoma with Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Clean Line Energy is in the early stages of its Plains & Eastern Clean Line project, one that would transmit power from wind turbines in the Oklahoma Panhandle to states in the Southeast.
The company applied to be a transmission-only utility in Oklahoma in June 2010, so it could begin work on the project, said Mario Hurtado, executive vice president for Clean Line Energy.
While that was going on, the company worked with landowners whose land would be impacted by the project.
“Some of those parties are very supportive of what we wanted to do, and they had questions of what we’re doing,” Hurtado said.
Clean Line Energy met with those people, and still are meeting with them to address their concerns or questions, Hurtado said.
But company officials feel they have not addressed all the concerns they have been met with, which was one of the reasons why Clean Line Energy asked for and was granted a continuance.
“The reason we really were granted a continuance was to have more time to work through those issues with those parties,” Hurtado said.
Clean Line Energy started the Plains & Eastern Clean Line project in April 2009, and the project will continue for a number of years.
If everything else remains on schedule, the company expects to energize the power line in 2016.
Time will be spent over the next several years with meetings, addressing local concerns on how to best utilize land, addressing environmental concerns and dealing with all agencies involved in making sure they have a say and that their concerns are met.
“It takes a while,” Hurtado said. “When you have something that big a piece of infrastructure, you have to plan correctly.”
The plan for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line project calls for 7,000 megawatts of energy to be transported from the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, as well as southwestern Kansas, 800 miles to locations in the Southeast.
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