Huge amounts of wind power may soon make its way to Arkansas, Tennessee and the rest of the Southeast. Last Friday, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, announced that Department of Energy’s (DOE) participation in a new transmission project that will deliver low-cost wind energy to the South. The DOE issued their “record of decision,” completing Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 evaluation of the transmission project.
The Plains and Eastern Clean Line will connect up to 4,000 megawatts of high quality wind energy resources from Oklahoma’s western panhandle to two electrical converter stations, one near northern Arkansas and another near Memphis, Tennessee. High voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission technology is not new; however, the Plains and Eastern Clean Line’s use of HVDC technology is unique in that it is designated for wind energy resources. HVDC technology can move more power over longer distances with less electrical loss than alternating current (AC) transmission routes; by doing so, HVDC transmission preserves land resources and maximizes clean energy availability.