Underground HVDC line to connect renewables, other generators in MISO, PJM markets

The SOO Green HVDC Link is a 350-mile 2,100 MW, 525KV underground high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line running along existing rail corridors from Iowa to Illinois.Credit: Direct Connect.

The SOO Green project is launching an open solicitation process August 10

This week, developer of the SOO Green project — which is financially backed by Jingoli Power, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Siemens Energy, and has a strategic partnership with Canadian Pacific — announced the launch of an Open Solicitation process to allocate transmission capacity rights on a first-of-its-kind project co-locating electric transmission line underground within an existing railroad corridor.

The 2,100 MW, 525KV, high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line will link energy markets in the Iowa (MISO) and Illinois (PJM), relieve Midwestern transmission constraints, and provide energy buyers direct access to a diverse portfolio of Midwestern generation.

SOO Green’s project route will run 350 miles from Mason City, IA to Plano, IL, and will follow an existing railroad corridor, greatly reducing environmental, viewshed and landowner impacts, according to Direct Connect, project owner. The $2.5 billion interregional “backbone” transmission project will be operational in late 2024. 

While SOO Green transmission capacity rights will be made available without preference to shippers across all asset classes, the project is especially well-suited for renewable generators in MISO in need of transmission paths to market, and for renewable energy buyers in PJM seeking direct access to large-scale, diverse and affordable renewable energy. 

Parties interested in obtaining transmission capacity rights (shippers), generators interested in selling (suppliers) and customers interested in buying energy products transmitted by the SOO Green project (buyers), can register on SOO Green’s Open Solicitation website.

The Open Solicitation process will involve three phases. First, Anchor Shippers will be able to obtain capacity rights at an advantageous published “reserve price.” Then, Phase 2 will allow for a voluntary “matching” process where the Independent Evaluator will match interested shippers with suppliers and buyers with aligned commercial interests. This process will give the matched parties an opportunity to negotiate any desired commercial arrangements to support the acquisition of capacity rights in the subsequent Phase 3 auction. 

London Economics International (LEI) will act as Independent Evaluator to administer the Open Solicitation process on behalf of SOO Green.

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The power generation, renewables and HVDC transmission sectors will all be united when POWERGEN International co-locates with DISTRIBUTECH International. POWERGEN and DISTRIBUTECH will be March 30-April 1 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

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