The federal Department of Energy is giving its OK to a project that would distribute electricity produced by wind power in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles to customers in the Southeast.
Despite opposition in Arkansas, the agency on Friday backed the 705-mile Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project that involves 4,000 megawatts of power. The agency invoked Congress' Energy Policy Act of 2005, which addressed the need for an improved infrastructure.
Arkansas' Public Service Commission ruled in 2011 that Clean Line Energy Partners didn't qualify as a public utility and couldn't build the line, and the state's congressional delegation said Friday the agency seeks to "usurp the will of Arkansans."
Clean Line Energy Partners said the $2.5 billion project would support thousands of jobs in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee.