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Meeting set

State Rep. Charlotte Douglas and State Sen. Bryan King will host a meeting Thursday for representatives of Clean Line Energy Partners to discuss a transmission project.

The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mulberry Senior Center located on U.S. 64.

The Plains & Eastern Clean Line is an approximately 700-mile, direct current transmission line project that would transmit up to 3,500 megawatts of clean power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to Arkansas, Tennessee,and other markets in the Mid-South and the southeastern United States.

The study corridor of the 750-mile line shows a band of intersecting routes, which begins at Guymon in western Oklahoma, entering Arkansas just west of Cedarville. It skirts Interstate 40 to the north until it nears Russellville. From there it travels due east, then veers northeast from around Bald Knob to Newport. From there it resumes an easterly route to Memphis.

Clear Line officials say the 150- to 200-f00t easement will likely lie within that corridor, which was developed after considerable input from local officials, community leaders, stand and federal agencies and other stakeholders. Guidelines established under the National Environmental Policy Act and study under the authority of the Department of Energy will be followed in specific siting and in route study and selection.

Organizers say the project will provide enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 1 million homes. Among other stated goals is economic revitalization. Planners anticipate the project will generate more than 5,000 construction jobs during the three years of construction and will create another 500 jobs operating the system upon its completion.

The resulting access to plentiful energy is also seen as a catalyst to further development along the transmission corridor.

At an earlier meeting, Clean Line and its partners said contractors for the project intend to draw from area workforces and suppliers along the route of the line. About $500 million of the $2 billion invested in the project is expected to be spent in Arkansas.

Organizers said hiring from local work pools generally ensures getting workers at a competitive rate and hiring people who “know the lay of the land.”

Following a light dinner and refreshments at 5:30 p.m., Clean Line has been asked to give a short presentation on the project starting at 6 p.m.

“Their representatives will be available to answer questions after the presentation,” Douglas said.

Donations will be accepted for the Mulberry Senior Center.

Douglas said more information on the project is available at www.plainsandeasterncleanline.com.

This meeting is independent of the Department of Energy and the NEPA environmental review process, Douglas said.

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