Clean Line Energy Partners said Tuesday it has secured a $40 million investment in the development of its four high-voltage, direct-current transmission line projects from National Grid USA.
Clean Line, whose planned Plains and Eastern project will take electricity from Oklahoma Panhandle wind farms to Tennessee utilities, said the equity investment gives National Grid two of its five board seats. Clean Line will retain management and development of its four transmission line projects.
Michael Skelly, Clean Line's president, said the investment gives Clean Line access to expertise from National Grid, which has developed several high-voltage, direct-current transmission projects in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.
“They have a lot of experience with HVDC, they have tremendous technical knowledge, operational expertise, execution capabilities and financial heft,” Skelly said in a conference call. “We think our time and effort and the team we've put together around our projects, along with National Grid's significant and complementary resources, is just going to be a tremendous match for our organization.”
National Grid runs several natural gas and electricity companies in the United Kingdom. Its U.S. subsidiary includes electric and gas utilities in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
Tom King, National Grid USA president, said his company is committed to developing a diverse energy mix, including renewable resources such as wind. That also includes investments in infrastructure and modernizing the electric grid.
“We're very impressed with the Clean Line team, and we're very impressed with the projects and the models they've used to develop those projects,” King said. “We think by bringing National Grid's financial backing, as well as transmission expertise, we'll create that new paradigm and together move forward to ensure that we can secure these projects to make sure they're built.”
A subsidiary of National Grid USA will make the $40 million equity investment in Clean Line with corporate funds. The subsidiary is separate from its regulated utilities in the United States and the United Kingdom. The transaction also will give National Grid an option to make additional investments in Clean Line or its transmission projects.