GridLiance Completes Acquisition of the Transmission Assets from the Tri-County Electric Cooperative
Key Milestone in Company’s Strategy to Partner with Electric Cooperatives and Other Public Power Agencies to Solve Critical Transmission Problems- GridLiance Also Announces the Expansion of Its World-Class Operations and Compliance Teams
Chicago, IL – April 4, 2016 – GridLiance Holdco, LP, through its subsidiary South Central MCN LLC (“GridLiance” or “the Company”), today announced the completion of its acquisition of Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s (“TCEC”) electric transmission assets, comprising approximately 410 miles of 69 and 115 kV transmission lines and the related substation infrastructure.
Beginning on April 1, GridLiance assumed full operational responsibility of TCEC’s transmission assets, including meeting federal, state and regional compliance requirements. The closing also made effective a long-term Co-Development Agreement between the parties, under which GridLiance will represent TCEC and its members’ interests in planning and development of new transmission projects within the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”), a Regional Transmission Organization (“RTO”).
“The completion of the TCEC acquisition marks an important milestone for our partnership model to help electric cooperative, municipal and joint action agency utilities (collectively, “Public Power”) solve their decades-long transmission issues,” said Ed Rahill, GridLiance’s President and CEO. “TCEC will immediately benefit from our experience and scale as we assume operations and maintenance (“O&M”) responsibility for their transmission assets while continuing to use TCEC’s ‘boots on the ground’ for some O&M services. Over the long-term, we can provide TCEC with a clear path to invest in SPP transmission projects that will reduce network congestion, increase service reliability and lower service costs. We are excited to work with Jack and his experienced team at TCEC as we further our mission of ensuring that all customers, regardless of their power provider, enjoy the same level of grid reliability.”
“We are excited to be a member of GridLiance’s network, and to move forward with important transmission projects that will improve reliability for our members,” said Jack Perkins, CEO of TCEC. “Joining forces with GridLiance allows us to prioritize distribution system improvements while leaving the upgrading of our transmission assets in GridLiance’s very capable and experienced hands. Equally as important, we look forward to jointly investing with them in transmission projects that were previously inaccessible to us.”
GridLiance also announced the expansion of its operations and compliance teams, including the appointments of industry veterans Kevin Hopper as President of the SPP Region, Neal Chapman as Vice President of Engineering and Jim Useldinger as Vice President of Operations. They will be based in GridLiance’s Kansas City office and directly oversee the engineering and operations functions for the newlyacquired TCEC transmission assets. They will also help the Company build out its platform into other regions, working with Chief Operating Officer Noman Williams and Vice President of Regulatory and Compliance Trent Carlson.
GridLiance, which is backed by Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone (NYSE:BX), is the U.S.’s first competitive transmission company focused on collaborating with under-served Public Power utilities. GridLiance’s differentiated operating model enables its Public Power partners to invest in regulated transmission projects – an investment opportunity often inaccessible to them. GridLiance’s planning and development models are focused on providing more reliable transmission to Public Power customers and hedging rising costs for regionally-planned projects. In addition to jointly planning, developing, owning and operating new transmission assets, GridLiance works with Public Power entities to identify existing transmission infrastructure that can be more efficiently and cost-effectively upgraded and integrated into their RTO through ownership by GridLiance.