GridLiance and Nixa, Missouri, have entered into a definitive agreement under which GridLiance will acquire Nixa’s electric transmission assets, including a 10-mile, 69-kV transmission line between the City of Springfield, Missouri, and the Southwest Power Administration, as well as five substations and related infrastructure.
Upon close, GridLiance will assume full operational responsibility of Nixa’s transmission assets, including federal, state and regional compliance requirements. The transaction is subject to federal and state regulatory approvals and is targeted to close by year end. Nixa is a member of MJMEUC, which has a long-term co-development arrangement with GridLiance to develop and co-own new transmission projects under the functional control of either the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. or the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.
“Operating and maintaining transmission infrastructure is expensive without scale, often taking valuable resources away from other core municipal responsibilities,” said Ed Rahill, GridLiance’s President and CEO. “Through our innovative approach, Nixa can shift its operations and regulatory risks to GridLiance, while gaining increased reliability and access to opportunities to invest in transmission projects that were previously inaccessible. We are excited to partner with Nixa and will work hard to ensure the City’s best interests are represented as the region plans for future transmission projects.”
“For many years, it made operational and financial sense for Nixa to own its transmission infrastructure. However, as regulatory requirements became increasingly complex, the City evaluated a number of options to protect our residents against rising costs and, at the same time, maintain our high reliability standards,” said Doug Colvin, Director of the City of Nixa’s Department of Public Works. “The GridLiance transaction ensures that we can meet these important requirements, as well as opens the door for our involvement in new transmission projects that can offset rate increases and provides us a much needed seat at the planning table.”
GridLiance, which is backed by Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone, is the nation’s first competitive transmission company focused on collaborating with under-served U.S. municipal, cooperative and joint action agency utilities. GridLiance’s differentiated operating model enables its Public Power partners to invest in regulated transmission projects – an investment opportunity often inaccessible to them. GridLiance’s planning and development models are focused on providing more reliable transmission to Public Power customers and hedging rising costs for regionally-planned projects. In addition to jointly planning, developing, owning and operating new transmission assets, GridLiance works with Public Power entities to identify existing transmission infrastructure that can be efficiently and cost-effectively upgraded and integrated into their Regional Transmission Organization.
In connection with the Nixa agreement, GridLiance made a regulatory filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. GridLiance’s application describes the substantial public policy benefits of its public power partnership model. GridLiance’s operating model advances FERC’s policy objectives by giving a greater voice to Public Power in coordinated, large-scale regional planning of the nation’s electric grid and expanding Public Power’s access to investment in grid projects to ease congestion, bolster reliability and integrate renewable energy.
GridLiance also announced it has entered into an agreement with Tri-County Electric Cooperative, based in Hooker, Oklahoma, to purchase its approximately 410 miles of transmission lines and related assets. The Nixa and TCEC acquisitions are consistent with GridLiance’s strategy to seek opportunities to acquire and operate existing electric transmission lines and related facilities owned by Public Power utilities, enabling them to focus on their distribution business and other core obligations.