May 22 (Reuters) - Clean Line Energy Partners said on Thursday it started the official process of looking for customers for the capacity of its proposed $2 billion Clean Line power transmission project from Oklahoma to Arkansas and Tennessee.
In a release, the company said its Plains and Eastern Clean Line LLC subsidiary commenced an open solicitation process for capacity on the Clean Line.
“We’ve been talking to potential customers for a while but this is the start of the official solicitation process,” Michael Skelly, president of Clean Line, told Reuters on the phone.
The project is a 700-mile (1,127-km) overhead 600-kilovolt high voltage direct current transmission line capable of delivering about 3,500 megawatts of power, the company said.
One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.
A unit of UK power company National Grid PLC holds a significant ownership position in Clean Line Energy Partners, Skelly said.
Clean Line is developing the project to move electricity from the wind power rich Oklahoma Panhandle region to Tennessee and Arkansas where demand for renewable power resources is growing.
Skelly said the company hopes to have a draft environmental statement from the U.S. Department of Energy in the autumn of 2014 with a final environmental statement in early 2015, and have the project fully permitted in the middle of 2015.
He said construction could start as soon as customers are lined up, hopefully by early 2016, which would allow the project to enter service by the end of 2018. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chris Reese)