What We're Thinking

Welcome to Our Blog

Posted on 11/23/2011 by Michael Skelly

Welcome to our new blog.

This is an incredibly exciting time to be developing infrastructure projects.  We have had a good month. By making the Plains & Eastern Clean Line a public utility, Oklahoma became one of the first states in the country to issue state operating authority to an interstate line bringing renewable energy to demand.   The Tennessee Valley Authority demonstrated its interest in our Plains and Eastern Clean Line with a memorandum of understanding that provides the framework for tackling some of the technical studies projects like ours require.  And we were delighted that the Board at the utility for Memphis, Memphis Light, Gas and Water, heartily endorsed our project.

Memphis’ quick grasp of new energy infrastructure shouldn’t be a big surprise.  Memphis started as a river hub, and it has parlayed its geographic position for continued success by also becoming an airline hub, a rail hub, and highway crossroads.  Most famously, Memphis was an early believer in FedEx, a company no one thought was needed until we realized that today’s world demands it.

This is what is so exciting about building energy infrastructure.  If we can put together our projects to move renewable energy across several states, from the incredible wind resource areas to major centers of consumption, then we get both tremendous economic development and large supplies of clean energy.  Construction jobs, property taxes, and fair treatment of landowners will pull it all together. 

Every time historians and economists look for the secret sauce of economic development, they come back to the critical importance of not just infrastructure, but conveyance infrastructure.  Roads to connect customers with producers, rail to haul products to market, canals to move goods inexpensively over long distances.  With the proper means of conveyance, markets come together, costs come down, untapped resources are exploited, and new possibilities emerge.  But developing infrastructure is a tough business.  Projects take many years to develop, with lots of twists and turns along the way.  We, as a company, must work hard to hear all the voices out there that will make for better projects.  What keep Clean Line moving, however, are the possibilities that our projects can unlock.  Our lines all originate in the windiest parts of the country.  Wind projects are getting built today for less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour, and the cost of generating wind energy continues to drop with technological improvements.  The resource is out there.  If we can do our part to get this low-cost energy to market, we’ll have made a meaningful contribution toward a clean, lower-cost energy mix for our country.