Pattern Energy Group LP says it has reached a milestone in development of its Southern Cross transmission project in an agreement with several Texas utilities and making two applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “Pattern is making steady progress on the development of its Southern Cross project, which will let Texas share its abundant economically feasible wind energy resources with its neighbor states to the southeast,” said Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland. “The Southern Cross project will create new jobs, generate investment and economic development in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, and provide the southeast with the opportunity to access low-cost-renewable energy from Texas.” The company has developed more than 2,500 MW of wind power projects.
Pattern, through its affiliate Southern Cross Transmission, has completed negotiation of a Settlement Agreement with Oncor Electric Delivery Company, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, and the City of Garland, Texas and its municipal-owned electric utility Garland Power & Light, regarding the terms and conditions for the interconnection of the project with ERCOT and the provision of transmission service into and out of ERCOT from the project, contingent upon the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals from FERC.
The Settlement Agreement is part of an application Pattern filed at FERC requesting an order from the Commission directing Garland to interconnect the project with ERCOT and directing Oncor and CenterPoint to provide transmission service into and out of ERCOT. The order will also contain a clear disclaimer of jurisdiction by the Commission, ensuring the continued status quo of all transmission providers and entities within ERCOT as generally exempt from FERC regulation. In addition, Pattern filed a separate application at FERC requesting authority to sell transmission service on Southern Cross at negotiated rates with interested shippers. This rate application details the proposed provisions for subscribing anchor tenants and holding an open season as a participant funded transmission project.
Mayor Ronald E. Jones of the City of Garland said, “This project will allow Texas to share its abundant wind energy resources with neighboring states in the southeast in a manner that results in increased reliability of the energy grid within Texas. The City’s participation in the project will provide an economic benefit to the ratepayers of Garland while furthering Garland’s commitment to renewable energy.”
Pattern is developing the Southern Cross project to add a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission tie of up to 3,000 MW between ERCOT in Texas and the transmission grid deep in the southeastern United States by 2016. This project is expected to facilitate the further development of additional Texas wind projects by creating access to new markets. The Southern Cross project will let Texas expand its traditional role as an energy supplier, adding wind energy to its portfolio of major exports.
Pattern Energy has developed other transmission projects, including the Trans Bay Cable project under San Francisco Bay. This submarine transmission line completed in 2010 and is serving up to 40% of San Francisco’s and the northern peninsula’s energy needs.
Pattern Energy Group LP