New Transmission Lines To Carry Oklahoma Wind Energy To Tennessee

Utilities are tapping Oklahoma wind farms to bring green energy all the way to the Tennessee Valley.

Monday, February 2nd 2015, 7:25 pm

By: News On 6

Utilities are tapping Oklahoma wind farms to bring green energy all the way to the Tennessee Valley.

Getting power from wind farms will require 720 miles of new transmission lines from the panhandle across Oklahoma and Arkansas and into Tennessee.

One area that will see the transmission lines is south of Muskogee; Monday the public was invited to learn more about the project.

Clean Line Energy is still in the early stages of the project and has several proposed routes for its transmission lines, but most of the plans have the lines running through many Oklahomans back yards.

More power transmission lines are coming to Oklahoma. The new lines will carry power from Guymon to west Tennessee.

Landowners in Muskogee County said the clean line will go right next to an existing power line, and Alan Burkett said he didn't see a problem.

"Well if it's going to be within that existing easement, and that's pretty much the way they explained it to me, it's not going to take up anymore room than what's already out there. I don't really see the harm in it," he said.

Burkett said he understands why there is a demand for more power.

Map Of Proposed Route For New Transmission Lines

"Everything our old ancestors didn't have we've got it, and a lot of it's because of electricity, and if we don't have it then what are you going to do," said Burkett. "Sooner or later, you know, population increasing and all the other fuels running out, we gotta have something and the wind don't cost anything, wind is free,"

Mattie Penn also lives along one of proposed routes for the transmission lines and said he hopes Oklahoma benefits from the cleaner fuel as well.

“I was looking forward to it, hope we'll benefit from it," Penn said. "Oh I think it's a good deal. I think it's a good idea. It's good for us you know?"

Even though Oklahoma is exporting the wind power, Clean Line Energy said the local economy will benefit with jobs and newly generated tax revenue.

Mario Hurtado, with Clean Line Energy said, "Oklahoma has more than ten-times the amount of wind energy we'd need to supply all of its electricity needs, so it makes sense to be able to export some of that energy because it's really very cost competitive, and, as you do that, you're basically providing more jobs and more income for the folks that own the land where those wind farms are gonna be built, and the folks that work building those wind farms and the construction area and then the guys that are gonna be doing the operations and maintenance of all those wind farms.”

Not everyone is happy with the proposed project. Just recently the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council passed a resolution against the transmission lines.

They are concerned the lines will run through the Trail of Tears land.


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