WASHINGTON – Two of Tennessee’s congressional members are raising concerns about a Houston energy company’s proposal to build a $2 billion, 700-mile transmission line that would carry wind power from Oklahoma and connect to TVA’s grid in West Tennessee.
In a letter, U. S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Maryville and U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump, both Republicans, asked TVA president and CEO Bill Johnson on Tuesday to respond to nearly a dozen questions about the Plains and Eastern Clean Line project.
The lawmakers want to know whether purchasing electricity from such a long distance would increase security threats to TVA’s power supply.
They also are asking about the cost of purchasing wind electricity compared to TVA generating or buying other types of electricity generation, and whether wind energy is as reliable as electricity generated by natural gas, nuclear, coal or hydro-power.
Other issues they raise are whether TVA customers will be at risk of higher rates if Congress refuses to renew the wind production tax credit, whether it would make more sense to build additional nuclear, natural gas or coal capacity and whether eminent domain will be used to acquire rights-of-way for the project.
“It’s up to the TVA board to decide what kinds of electricity to generate and purchase,” Alexander said in a statement.
“But it is the responsibility of members of Congress to provide oversight to TVA policies, and these questions are part of that oversight.”
In a statement, TVA said the utility is committed to using multiple sources of energy, including renewable sources, as part of its future supplies.
Alexander, Fincher question wind-energy project |
Alexander questions $2B wind plan |
Sen. Alexander raises questions with TVA about $2 billion wind energy plan. |
Knoxville News Sentinel |
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