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Pattern Development proposes route in Mississippi for wind power line

Published 27 April 2017

An affiliate of Pattern Energy Group (Pattern Development) has filed a petition for a siting certificate with the Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) for the 2GW Southern Cross transmission project.

The preferred route would cross the Mississippi River in Issaquena County and would continue east towards Washington, Sharkey, Humphreys, Holmes, Carroll, Montgomery, Choctaw, Oktibbeha, Clay, and Monroe counties. 

It will join at a converter station to be built in Lowndes County.

It is expected that in the weeks ahead, land owners on the route would receive notice letters. The boards of supervisors in each of the respective counties are supporting the project.

The Southern Cross Transmission project is a 500kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line and it will have a base load capacity of 2GW.

The transmission line will act as a link between abundant and cost-competitive wind energy in Texas to the transmission grid and customers in the Southeast states.

Apart from the preferred route, Pattern Energy has also asked the MPSC to approve a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (also known as a siting certificate). The commission is expected to review the petition in the months ahead and is expected to issue the order once the review is completed.

Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2018 and operations could start in 2021. During the peak of the construction phase, the project is expected to generate about 650 jobs for the local people.

Pattern Energy has cited a recent study conducted by Moss Adams which said that the Southern Cross Transmission project can offer significant economic benefits to project areas in Louisiana and Mississippi. It includes $3.9bn in total direct, indirect, induced and fiscal economic impact across the study area in the two states.

The project could also generate direct economic impact of about $1.05bn each in Louisiana and Mississippi, in the next 30 years.

Pattern Development CEO Mike Garland said: "Reaching this major milestone is the result of several years of work to identify the optimal placement of the line through a combination of science, engineering, and engaging with landowners, farmers, foresters, and each of the municipalities in the towns and counties along the route.

"The Southern Cross project will be one of the nation's first overhead HVDC transmission lines constructed in nearly two decades – and all of the capital investment required for the project is being provided by private investors.

“It is the only project to connect low-cost renewable energy in Texas to the Southeast while also creating jobs and generating strong economic benefits in both the southern states and Texas.

“In addition, it will provide significant reliability and economic benefits by connecting two robust systems. We are now in discussions with parties interested in buying the low-cost clean power this project will deliver."

Image: Pattern Energy applies preferred route petition for Transmission project in the US. Photo: Courtesy of Jearayuth/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.