Federal lawsuits are pending over a project to build a transmission line through Arkansas delivering wind energy from Oklahoma to the Memphis area. In this week’s issue of Arkansas Business there’s a closer look at the arguments involved in the case involving two groups of landowners who would have to sell property.
Who wouldn’t support a project that promises to bring cheap, clean power to 160,000 Arkansas homes along with hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars for state landowners and schools?
Well, every member of the Arkansas congressional delegation, for starters.
The state’s lawmakers in Washington all oppose plans for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, which would deliver wind-generated power from the Oklahoma Panhandle to near Memphis through transmission lines running the width of Arkansas.
The $2 billion-plus project, which plans to use direct current to move high volumes of electricity over 700 miles, would also pump $660 million into the state over 30 months of construction, according to an analysis by the Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Arkansas.
The 12 counties crossed by the transmission line, which would have a capacity of 4,000 megawatts — with 500 of those megawatts coming to Arkansas — could reap $147 million in tax payments over the 40-year life of the project, much of that earmarked for public schools. Four thousand megawatts is enough to power more than 1.1 million homes, Clean Line representatives said.