Clean Line looking for transmission line contractor bids
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Sunday, August 05, 2012
8/05/12 at 3:25 AM
Construction is still at least three years away, but the Plains and Eastern Clean Line is looking for a few good contractors able and willing to bid on hundred million dollar projects.
More than a few, actually. The Houston-based Clean Line Energy Partners LP is trying to identify firms which can help build its 800-mile transmission line planned to bring wind-farm energy from western Oklahoma to Tennessee.
The estimated $3.5 billion project already has signed on Claremore firm Pelco Structural LLC to provide support poles. Clean Line CEO Michael Skelly met with many other potential partners during visits to the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and Muskogee last week.
"It's great; we've had sell-out crowds in both places," Skelly joked about the free event which gave attendees an overview of the massive project.
"Transmission line construction is a pretty labor intensive business," he said during an interview at the Tulsa World office. "The labor deal on the project is very substantial."
Pelco Structural's part of the Clean Line effort is estimated at close to $300 million alone, according to reports. Clean Line also has signed on Fluor Corp. and Pike Electric Service to oversee the first phase.
"We brought in Fluor and they brought in Pike," mentioning the companies who also helped put this week's open-house meetings together, Skelly noted. "They give us the strength and their global sourcing capabilities to pull this together."
Clean Line hopes to start construction on the direct-current, 500-kilovolt line by 2015 and no later than 2016. The project was granted public utility status by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission last year and will seek similar approvals in Arkansas and Tennessee.
The direct-current option, as opposed to the more familiar alternate current transmissions systems used nationwide, was chosen because of its ability to move high currents with less energy transfer loss. Clean also hopes to kick off its federal permitting effort later this year through the National Environmental Policy Act process.
"That takes about two years," Skelly said.
Clean Line officials also made other open-house stops in Woodward, Enid and Edmond. The proposed Eastern and Plains Clean Line will begin in western Oklahoma and eventually connect to Tennessee Valley Authority substations in the western part of that state, according to reports.
Original Print Headline: Clean Line looking for construction bids
Rod Walton 918-581-8457