A recent study conducted by Leidos, a national leader in energy research, concluded that the Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project will create a reduction in Arkansas electricity production costs of $65 million in the first year of the project’s operation alone. The study examined the impact of 3,500 megawatts of wind delivered by the Plains & Eastern Clean Line to the Tennessee Valley Authority and other southeastern utilities, and 500 megawatts (MW) of wind power delivered to the Arkansas electric grid. The study also showed that the Plains & Eastern Clean Line will reduce air pollution in Arkansas.
This reduction in cost would result from Arkansas utilities purchasing competitively priced wind energy and avoiding the cost of fuel and maintenance required for more costly generation plants. The study also concluded that pollution reductions in the Natural State include more than one million tons of carbon dioxide, 500 tons of nitrogen oxide, and 800 tons of sulfur dioxide emission reductions each year, pollutants that are precursors to smog and acid rain.
Low-cost electricity and access to renewable energy sources are major drivers of economic growth in Arkansas and throughout the Mid-South and Southeast regions. For example, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart is a leader in sustainability and has a stated goal to be supplied by100 percent renewable energy by the end of the decade. Continued investment in infrastructure will allow Arkansas to access more low-cost clean energy, create jobs, protect ratepayers, and maintain its competitiveness as a friendly home for businesses.