On June 10, 2010, the Department of Energy published in the Federal Register a Request for Proposals (RFP) for New or Upgraded Transmission Line Projects Under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005. In response, Clean Line Energy Partners, LLC submitted an application for its Plains & Eastern Clean Line project. DOE has concluded that Clean Line’s proposal was responsive to the RFP, and it is currently under consideration.
The proposed Plains & Eastern Clean Line project (the proposed project) would include an overhead +/- 600 kV direct current electric transmission system and associated facilities with the capacity to deliver approximately 3,500 MW primarily from renewable energy generation facilities in the Oklahoma Panhandle region to load-service entities in the Mid-South and Southeast via an interconnection with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Prior to making a determination whether or not to participate in the proposed project, DOE must evaluate the proposed project for compliance with Section 1222 of EPAct and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), in consultation with the Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern).
NEPA Review: On December 21, 2012, DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Draft an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on behalf of the Department and Southwestern. The Draft EIS is now posted on DOE’s Plains & Eastern EIS website and the DOE NEPA website. The public comment period ended on April 20, 2015. The Draft EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of participating in the proposed project, and will inform the Department’s determination. More information about the proposed project and the EIS can be found on the FAQ page and at DOE’s Plains & Eastern EIS website.
Non-NEPA Review (1222 Review): In addition to conducting a NEPA review, DOE will also conduct due diligence on non-NEPA factors such as the project’s technical and financial feasibility and whether the project is in the public interest. DOE will conduct a thorough review that includes making all required statutory findings and will consider all criteria listed in Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as well as all factors included in DOE’s 2010 Request for Proposals.
In December 2014, DOE requested additional information from the applicant to supplement and update its original application. The updated Part 2 application and other documentation are now available for a 45-day public comment period. The public comment period began on April 28, 2015, the date the Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register, and was scheduled to end on June 12, 2015. However, DOE has decided to extend the public comment period to July 13, 2015.
DOE is accepting comments on whether the proposed project meets the statutory criteria listed in Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as well as all factors included in DOE’s 2010 Request for Proposals. All comments submitted during either comment period will be considered in the DOE’s ultimate decision as to whether to participate in the proposed project under the Section 1222 Program. Therefore, comments submitted during the NEPA public comment period do not need to be re-submitted during the 1222 public comment period, regardless of the subject discussed in the comments.