Feds join wind energy transmission project

Feds join wind energy transmission project
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The Department of Energy (DOE) will join a renewable energy company in planning and developing a 705-mile wind power transmission line project, officials announced on Friday. 

The agency signed off on the Clean Line Partners' project on Friday, saying it met all the standards necessary for a federal partnership under a 2005 law. 


The project — called the Plains and Eastern Clean Line — will deliver up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power generated in Oklahoma and Texas to parts of the Midsouth and Southeastern United States. The DOE plans to help developers get the project up and running, the first time the agency has done so since Congress gave it the power to partner with transmission companies in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. 

“Moving remote and plentiful power to areas where electricity is in high demand is essential for building the grid of the future,” Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of another relief package; Warner says some businesses 'may not come back' at The Hill's Advancing America's Economy summit The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says supporting small business single most important thing we should do now; Teva's Brendan O'Grady says U.S. should stockpile strategic reserve in drugs like Strategic Oil Reserve MORE said.

“Building modern transmission that delivers renewable energy to more homes and businesses will create jobs, cut carbon emissions, and enhance the reliability of our grid.”

The Plains and Eastern line is one of several proposed Clean Line transmission projects. Others have run into local opposition, including the so-called Grain Belt Express, which Missouri regulators recently denied. That project was featured in a New York Times article this week about the plight of renewable energy transmission line projects around the country. 

The DOE released its final environmental impact statement on the Plains and Eastern project last fall, opening the door for its eventual development. As of November, the company still needed to acquire some of the property necessary to build the $2.5 billion project, something it hopes to do by next year.

“The Department of Energy’s decision shows that great things are happening in America today," Clean Line Energy President Michael Skelly said.

"The Plains and Eastern Clean Line is the largest clean energy infrastructure project in the nation and will modernize the U.S. electric grid while bringing forth new investment, job creation, and more low-cost power for American consumers."

—Updated at 3:13 p.m.