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 MonizOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Moniz: Texas blackouts show need to protect infrastructure against climate change The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran 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.