The US Department of Energy has approved the Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project, which will deliver 4GW of renewable energy from Oklahoma to other states in the mid-south and south-east.

The DoE said the $2bn project “will serve the public interest by facilitating renewable energy development, stimulating economic development, generating revenues for needed public investment, and doing so while minimizing impacts to landowners and the natural environment”.

It has spent nearly six years evaluating the Plains & Eastern Clean Line proposal and the Record of Decision outlines the roles of the project develop Clean Line Energy and the DoE.

A route has been identified for the project, as well as the start of the project in Oklahoma and a converter station in Arkansas that will deliver 500MW of renewable electricity.

Clean Line will also have to implement environmental measures during construction and operation to minimise impacts to landowners.

Clean Line Energy president Michael Skelly said: “After several years of extensive evaluation, we now have the major regulatory approvals in place to begin construction in 2017.

“We look forward to continuing to invest in this project so that thousands of people have jobs and millions of consumers benefit from the delivery of low-cost clean power.”

American Wind Energy Association chief executive officer Tom Kiernan said: “The DoE’s decision is a critical milestone that will open up the spigots for billions of dollars in private investment, economic opportunity in rural areas that need it most and potential savings for American consumers.”

Image: work on the 4GW line is scheduled to start in 2017 (sxc)