Wind Energy Project Could Bring $259 Million Investment to Shelby County

Plains and Eastern Clean Line LLC wants to invest $259 million in an area around Millington for a hub that would bring wind energy from Oklahoma to Tennessee.

The company has asked for an 11-year tax break from the Memphis Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County. The request will come before that board during its meeting Wednesday, according to an updated agenda released Monday morning.

The proposed Shelby County project includes $9.6 million for transmission lines, $1.2 million for the the purchase of 208 acres of land, the $10 million construction of a 30,000-square-foot converter facility, and the $239 million purchase of converter equipment, according to EGDE documents.

The local converter station would be part of a overall project by Plains and Eastern Clean Line to purchase wind energy from Oklahoma, and run it along a 700-mile, 600-kilovolt electric transmission line to tie in to the Tennessee Valley Authority electricity grid.

The project would create 16 new jobs with an average salary of $56,875, according to EDGE.

The facility would deliver more than 3,500 megawatts of electricity.

The company’s application says they are looking at the Shelby County site as well as a site in Tipton County.

The 11-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal would abate 41 percent of the taxes on the facility, according to EDGE. The site now brings $2,975 in annual property taxes for the county. If approved, the new project would yield about $36.2 million in new tax revenue for Shelby County during the 11-year term of the deal.

If approved by federal regulators the project is expected to begin construction in 2016 and
take two years to complete.