By Amanda Durish Cook
Developers will be eligible to bid on the $130 million, 500-kV Hartburg-Sabine Junction project in eastern Texas until July 20. The congestion-relieving line and substation are slated to be in service by June 1, 2023.
MISO’s Board of Directors last week granted late approval for the project under the RTO’s 2017 Transmission Expansion Plan. (See MISO Board Approves Texas Competitive Tx Project.) MISO expects to select a developer by the end of the year and post a full report on its evaluation no later than Jan. 30, 2019.
“When completed, this project will help bring economic benefits to a transmission-constrained area of Texas,” said Kent Fonvielle, executive director for MISO’s South region.
MISO will judge the proposals based on weighted criteria, which include cost and design, project implementation, operations and maintenance, and participation in the planning process. The RTO has revealed that 11 potential developers will already receive the 5% planning participation credit for suggesting the Hartburg-Sabine project in MISO’s annual Market Congestion Planning Study. They include Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois, Duke-American Transmission Co., East Texas Electric Cooperative, Entergy Texas, Grid America, ITC Holdings, Midcontinent MCN, Midwest Power Transmission Arkansas, NextEra Energy Transmission, Transource Energy and Xcel Energy.
Each proposal requires a $100,000 fee before MISO will begin considerations.
Prospective developers are required to communicate about the project using MISO’s TDQS@misoenergy.org email address and are instructed not to contact any RTO personnel directly. As with its first competitive transmission project in 2016, MISO will publicly post all developer questions and any answers it can provide on its competitive administration webpage. MISO will accept questions about the request for proposals until June 25 and will hold three informational meetings by conference call on Feb. 27, April 9 and May 29.
MISO has redacted some critical energy infrastructure information from the public version of its RFP, including interconnection requirements, some of Entergy’s local planning criteria, the coordinates of the new substation and aerial views of existing lines in the area.