Library filed under Transmission from Arkansas
As Arkansas' congressional delegation stepped up its war Tuesday on a $2.5 billion wind-power transmission project, Clean Line Energy Partners has confirmed that it has shelved plans to string the controversial power line across Arkansas. Michael Skelly, the company's president, told Arkansas Business that the direct-current project, which would have transmitted 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy from Western Oklahoma to eastern Tennessee, is basically on life support.
The deal was sealed after it became apparent to Clean Line that TVA had little appetite to complete a six-year-old memorandum of understanding to purchase the project’s wind power. Late last year, just weeks after TVA said it was still studying whether to sign the contract, agency President Bill Johnson said the Clean Line project didn’t make economic sense, given TVA’s flat demand and ample generating capacity.
The federal lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Jonesboro by Golden Bridge LLC and Downwind LLC, the two landowner organizations, will test the legality of a decision by the U.S. Department of Energy to aid construction of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line through provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
A bill aimed at stopping a project to transmit wind energy across Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee passed out of a U.S. House committee Wednesday. In a 19-11 vote, the House Committee on Natural Resources advanced the Assuring Private Property Rights Over Vast Access to Land.
DOE is resorting to a small provision that has never been used, from a law passed more than a decade ago. This law states that it does not “affect any requirement of any Federal or State law relating to the siting of energy facilities.” In other words, even though the Obama Administration approved the project, many legal experts think that Clean Line and DOE must return to the Arkansas Public Service Commission for final approval on the project’s location.
Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 establishes specific conditions that must be met before this authority is used, and we expect the Department to release all details of their review so that our staff and Congressional investigators will be able to continue the process of oversight.
“Basically this decision says that Washington, D.C., knows more than the people of Arkansas do about whether to build across the state giant, unsightly transmission towers to carry a comparatively expensive, unreliable source of electricity to the Southeast where utilities may not need the electricity. This is the first time federal law has been used to override a state's objections to using eminent domain for siting electric transmission lines. It is absolutely the wrong policy.”
A group of Arkansas Republican lawmakers on Friday accused President Obama of ‘executive overreach’ over his administration’s plan to partner with a private company to develop a 705-mile wind power transmission line.
U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, both R-Ark., said Wednesday they are placing a hold on President Barack Obama’s nominee for a position at the U.S. Department of Energy until they get more answers from the agency about a proposed transmission line.
Arkansas' congressional delegation is asking the U.S. Department of Energy to slow the review process for a planned wind-energy transmission line that would cross the state.
Because Arkansas regulators balked at granting state utility status for the privately owned line, Clean Line is trying to team up with the Southwestern Power Administration in a public-private partnership that would be allowed to build transmission lines through Arkansas.
The Arkansas Senate has passed a resolution opposing the construction of a power line across Arkansas to transmit wind-generated electricity from Oklahoma to Tennessee. The Senate passed the resolution on Wednesday, calling on the U.S. Department of Energy to reject an application by Clean Line Energy Partners.
" ... (T)he Commission's decision is based on the fact it cannot grant public utility status to Clean Line based on the information about its current business plan and present lack of plans to serve customers in Arkansas. ...Without pre-judging any future plans Clean Line may have or may bring before the Commission, the Commission denies Clean Line's request" for issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.