$100M Station in Central Arkansas Proposed Along Planned Wind Highway

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 12:00 am  

The result, then, is that the AC electricity can be transmitted to local energy companies, giving power companies more opportunity to buy wind energy that can sometimes be cheaper than other power sources.

“Arkansas is buying around 250 megawatts of wind from Oklahoma and Kansas today,” Skelly said. “It will be able to double that.”

For perspective, Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Corp. currently receives about 51 megawatts of power from a wind farm in Kansas and intends to increase that to 201 megawatts by the end of this year. The company has access to about 3,000 megawatts of power total from all generation sources.

A single one-megawatt wind turbine can power, on average, 240 to 400 homes in the United States.

But still remaining is the question of whether the new station will mean the company will again attempt to become recognized as a utility, now that the project will affect Arkansans more directly. The company recently applied for utility status in Tennessee, through which the Plains & Eastern line will travel.

A spokesman for the company said the station “was a significant change in the scope of the project” that was “not initially intended” for it.

However, the company remained silent on whether it will try for utility status again. PSC records show no activity from Clean Line since it was denied in 2011.

Permitting

However, Skelly did say that the company must complete its permitting process before considering approaching the PSC again.

Like other projects that have to be approved at multiple governmental levels, it takes years to complete.

“We’ve been doing this for about five years,” Skelly said.

A lot of the job, he said, is getting the word out about the job to county officials, state agencies and environmental groups to determine the route of the line.

 

 

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