$3.5 Billion Wind Power Line Approved for Oklahoma

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The Plains and Eastern Clean Line wind power transmission line in Oklahoma was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Wednesday to start acquiring customers for its potential 7,000 MW of clean energy.

This line will be approximately 800 miles in length and is a high-voltage direct current transmission project. The new line is being developed in order to send clean energy generated by wind farms in western Oklahoma, southwest Kansas, and the Texas Panhandle to customers in the Mid-South and Southeast.


The project will be managed in two 3,500-megawatt phases. The first phase is under development. Such a transmission line is necessary to uncork the renewable energy potential of the region, because the existing electrical grid is not equipped to efficiently transmit new power sources.

It has been estimated about 10,000 jobs will be created as a result of the project being constructed. Additionally, 1,000 jobs will be generated for maintenance and operation of both the new power line and the wind farms connected to it.

The line could be finished by late 2017, and associated wind farms built from start to finish in just two years. The 7,000-MW project, if completed, could reduce CO2 levels by the same amount as removing two million cars from operation would, it has been estimated. Another estimate pegs the potential number of homes powered by the huge project at about two million. Another estimated huge benefit is the savings of 400 billion gallons of water annually that would have been used for the cooling of thermal power plants had they been used instead of the new wind farms and power line.

Oklahoma will have 3 GW of wind power installed by 2012, which will put the state three years ahead of its goal of generating 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015. Somehow, it doesn’t seem this very important story will make the national evening news, but it should.

Image Credit: James Fleeting from Wichita Falls, USA, Wiki Commons

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Jake Richardson

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeRsol

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7 thoughts on “$3.5 Billion Wind Power Line Approved for Oklahoma

  • Why did they go with a DC line? I thought AC was superior for energy transmission.

    • Not for longer distance. DC lines are more efficient but you loose some energy transitioning from AC to DC and some more at the other end going from DC back to AC.

      Obviously this occurs only because we have an AC grid. If the “daily grid” was DC there would be no need to change.

      If the run is long enough the losses occurred going AC->DC->AC are recovered and energy saved by using DC over the distance.

      There’s a pretty good article on Wiki about High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC).

      Plans are underway to lay a HVDC line from Iceland to the UK to bring Iceland’s geothermal and hydro electricity to the Isles and on to Europe. Other HVDC lines are being designed to bring North Africa solar to Europe.

      We’ve got two major HVDC lines in the western US. The Pacific Intertie brings PNW hydro electricity to SoCal and the Mountain Intertie was build to be bring Utah coal electricity to SoCal. It will likely be re-purposed to carry Wyoming wind.

      • i imagine i could find this with a google search, but why did we go with AC instead of DC?

        • It was a Tesla/Edison argument and Edison (I think) won.

          I don’t believe the decision was 100% fact-based. There was something about electrocuting an elephant….

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