Why Oklahoma Wind Energy Might Get a Raise When Tennessee Retires Coal

  • Joe Wertz
The 147-megawatt Weatherford Wind Energy Center.

Travel Aficionado / Flickr

The 147-megawatt Weatherford Wind Energy Center.

The Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday announced is would retire six coal-fired power plants in Alabama and replace two in Kentucky with a new natural gas plant.

TVA CEO Bill Johnson cited stricter environmental regulations and a “flat demand” for electricity, NPR’s Scott Neuman reports.

But the move could be a boon for Oklahoma wind energy, specifically plans for a $2 billion heavy-duty power line that would help close a transmission gap, and connect western Oklahoma wind projects with the TVA grid in Memphis. The Oklahoman‘s Jay Marks reports:

TVA provides power for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. The government-owned utility is looking to diversify its power generating mix, as evidenced by its move away from coal.

“This will support our focus on cleaner energy and bring additional, necessary balance into our portfolio for managing our current and projected load profile,” CEO Bill Johnson told TVA’s board.