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Clean Line Energy says its Plains & Eastern Clean Line project has obtained a key regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The agency has granted the project permission to sell transmission service to customers at negotiated rates and to negotiate bilateral agreements for 100% of the transmission line's capacity.

According to the developer, the Plains & Eastern Clean Line project will deliver up to 3.5 GW of wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to communities in Arkansas, Tennessee and other states in the Mid-South and Southeast. In addition, Clean Line has proposed an intermediate delivery converter station in central Arkansas that would have the capacity to deliver up to 500 MW of power.

“Oklahoma boasts some of the best wind in the country. We are pleased to see this approval from FERC to subscribe up to 100 percent of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line’s capacity,” comments Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague. “We believe it is another important milestone toward developing Oklahoma’s low-cost clean energy resources, enabling new jobs and growing economic development in our state and the nation.”

Receiving this authority from FERC allows Clean Line to sell transmission capacity to potential customers of the project, including utilities and other load serving entities or clean energy generators. Generator interconnection to the Plains & Eastern line will be subject to the requirements of the project’s open access transmission tariff.

Clean Line estimates the Plains & Eastern project will enable more than $6 billion of investment in new wind farms. From May through July, the company conducted an open solicitation for transmission capacity on the project, and Clean Line notes 15 potential customers submitted more than 17 GW of requests for transmission service.

Michael Skelly, president of Clean Line Energy, says the FERC decision moves the Plains & Eastern project one step closer to reality. Based on current estimates, and subject to other approvals, Clean Line expects the project to achieve commercial operation as early as 2018.

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