Tennessee has granted approval for the 3.5GW Plains and Eastern Clean Line, aimed at carrying wind power from Oklahoma.
The Tennessee Regulatory Authority unanimously voted to approve the application to operate as a wholesale transmission utility in the state. This allows developer Clean Line Energy Partners to sell energy to utilities in Tennessee.
The 1100-kilometre transmission system will run from the windy Oklahoma Panhandle region to utilities and customers in Tennessee, Arkansas, and other markets in the Mid-South and Southeast.
Last year, Clean Line issued a request for expressions of interest in capacity on the transmission line. The company said fifteen potential customers submitted more than 17GW of requests for capacity.
The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Southwestern Power Administration is carrying out an environmental review of the line.
In December, it issued the draft environmental impact statement which initiated a 90-day public comment period, scheduled to conclude in March.
As part of this, the DOE will host 15 public meetings in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas during January and February. Clean line said it expects construction to begin in 2016, with a construction time of two to three years.
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