August 5, 2020 – Minneapolis, MN – SOO Green HVDC Link ProjectCo, LLC (SOO Green) announces the launch of an open solicitation process beginning August 10, to allocate firm, transmission capacity rights on a new, first of its kind merchant high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission project. SOO Green utilizes an innovative rail co-located model which offers a number of land use, environmental and resiliency benefits. SOO green will link the markets operated by two regional transmission organizations (RTOs) – the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM). SOO Green’s open solicitation process will provide a forum for prospective subscribers of the project’s transmission capacity rights (shippers) to connect with electric generators in MISO (suppliers) and utilities/end-users in PJM (buyers) and explore potential commercial arrangements involving the purchase and sale of capacity, energy, and renewable energy credits. All 2,100 MW of firm transmission capacity rights on the SOO Green project will be available for allocation through the open solicitation process. Interested parties can learn more about the open solicitation process by visiting www.soogreenhvdclink-os.com.
The SOO Green Project will be capable of bi-directionally transmitting up to 2,100 MW of capacity and energy on a 350-mile, HVDC transmission line connecting MISO and PJM. The Project will connect with MISO’s 345 kV transmission system at a point near Mason City, Iowa, and PJM’s 345 kV transmission system at a point near Plano, Illinois. Ninety-nine percent of the transmission line will be installed underground, and the right-of-way of the route is largely secured within existing railroad corridors, owned by Canadian Pacific and OmniTRAX. In particular, a pair of five-inch, 525 kV rubber-based XLPE cables will be buried in a trench two and a half feet wide and five feet deep within the rail right-of-way. Co-locating the project within an existing railroad corridor will greatly reduce environmental, viewshed and landowner impacts.
An HVDC converter station near Mason City will convert alternating current (AC) power from MISO’s system into direct current (DC) power for transmission, while the converter station at Plano will convert the DC power into AC power for transmission by PJM. Both converter stations will utilize Siemens’ Voltage Sourced Converter (VSC) technology, which is 100% controllable and capable of providing ancillary services. Following a development phase (anticipated to conclude in 2021) and a three-year construction phase, the $2.5 billion SOO Green Project is expected to be operational in late 2024, at which time the SOO Green project will serve as an inter-regional backbone transmission facility connecting two of the largest electric power markets in the United States. A project map is attached to this Notice.
The SOO Green project is owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Jingoli Power, and Siemens Energy and is being developed by Direct Connect Development Co, LLC. Additional information about the project is available at www.soogreenrr.com.
On July 23, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted SOO Green authorization to charge negotiated rates for the transmission rights. A copy of the order can be found here and on the websites. SOO Green is conducting the open solicitation process consistent and in compliance with FERC’s order.
Open Solicitation Product
During the open solicitation process, interested parties may obtain firm transmission capacity rights on the Project. The transmission rights will be secured first by Precedent Agreements and later by Firm Transmission Capacity Purchase Agreements. Subsequently, SOO Green will transfer operational control of the project to an RTO, e.g., MISO or PJM, with transmission service subject to the RTO’s tariff and service agreements. As such, the holder of transmission capacity rights will be able to schedule with an RTO transmission service over the SOO Green project into MISO or PJM.
How to Participate
Parties interested in obtaining transmission capacity rights (shippers), generators interested in selling (suppliers) and customers interested in buying energy products (buyers) transmitted by the SOO Green project, can register on SOO Green’s open solicitation website at www.soogreenhvdclink-os.com. London Economics International (LEI) will act as Independent Evaluator to administer the open solicitation process on behalf of SOO Green. Transmission capacity rights will be allocated in two stages. First, “Anchor Shippers” that are ready and willing to purchase transmission capacity rights at the published “Anchor Shipper Price” will enter into negotiations with SOO Green. Second, the Independent Evaluator will allocate any remaining capacity through an auction, but only after a voluntary “matching” process, where the Independent Evaluator will match shippers, suppliers, and buyers with aligned commercial interests and give the parties an opportunity to negotiate any desired commercial arrangements to support an auction bid.
Please visit www.soogreenhvdclink-os.com for more information about the open solicitation process and www.soogreenrr.com for more information about SOO Green HVDC Link. Any questions concerning the open solicitation process can be directed to the Independent Evaluator at SOOGreen-OS@londoneconomics.com.