January 11, 2018
Some environmentalists say they’re angered and disappointed that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is refusing to buy a Houston development company’s wind-generated electricity.
But they’re undoubtedly less disappointed than the company that spent years developing the proposed Plains and Eastern Line, only to see a major player in its development walk away.
Clean Line Energy Partners said it has dropped its 700-mile interconnection agreement with the TVA in one of Clean Line’s biggest projects, after the federal utility declined an offer to purchase the clean energy to be generated.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press quotes Stephen Smith, the executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, saying, “TVA killed what could have been one of the biggest and most important renewable energy projects in America.”
The project is not dead.
NextEra Energy Resources has bought a portion of the proposed line to serve Oklahoma and some Midwest customers, the newspaper reports.
NextEra is among the nation’s largest wind generating companies.
TVA said after years of study, it’s concluded that it already has enough power-generating capacity and is already working to achieve half its electricity generation from non-carbon sources, so the Clean Line project’s electricity is not needed — plus committing to wind power, considering the intermittent nature of such sources, would require the building of backup generation plants that would offset the savings from wind.
TVA had preliminarily agreed with Clean Line six years ago to participate in the Plains and Eastern Line, but the utility’s new decision is a setback for the project, which for now would be localized to Texas, Oklahoma and Central US regions.