CHICAGO, Ill. and PAHRUMP, Nev. (September 20, 2017) – GridLiance Holdco, L.P., (GridLiance) an independent electric transmission company, has completed its acquisition of Valley Electric Association, Inc.’s (VEA) high voltage transmission system, including more than 160 miles of 230-kV transmission lines and related substation equipment. GridLiance also acquired a 230-kV transmission line project to physically connect the VEA system to the rest of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).
“We are grateful that our orders were among the first issued by FERC after a quorum was restored,” said Calvin Crowder, president and CEO, GridLiance. “We are excited about the benefits the transaction brings to the region and we value immensely our ongoing partnership with VEA. There is great potential here for project development that will improve reliability and provide Nevada and California greater access to low-cost renewable energy, and GridLiance is poised to realize that potential.”
In addition, this transaction is expected to provide meaningful benefits to VEA members. Because of the acquisition, VEA will be able to expand its broadband communications network, ensure reliable power, provide rate stability, pay down debt, and share with its members a significant cash premium for the assets.
“This sale marks a pivotal moment in the history of our cooperative,” said VEA CEO Thomas H. Husted. “The partnership with GridLiance will provide benefits to our members well into the future – including cash benefits from the sale, many years of rate stability, further investment in high-speed communications for their benefit, and community investment on a scale unlike any other in Pahrump’s history. We built this high-voltage system to provide reliability for our members, and that will continue – along with opportunity to service and maintain the 230-kV system for decades.”
GridLiance is backed by Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone (NYSE:BX). As part of the transaction, VEA and GridLiance have entered into an agreement whereby VEA will continue to operate and maintain the system. This preserves local jobs and ensures VEA’s capabilities and experience will continue to benefit the high voltage transmission system.
About Valley Electric Association, Inc.
Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is a member-owned nonprofit electric utility headquartered in Pahrump, Nev. While VEA started as a small rural electric utility in 1965, the company now provides electric service to more than 45,000 people within a vast 6,800-square-mile service area located primarily along the California-Nevada border, with the majority in Nevada. Valley Communications Association (VCA), a wholly owned subsidiary of VEA, began proving high-speed communications to our member-owners in the spring of 2016. VEA’s service area starts in Sandy Valley, southwest of Las Vegas, and extends north for more than 250 miles to Fish Lake Valley. For more information about VEA, please visit www.vea.coop.
GridLiance is an independent electric transmission company. Formed in 2014 by industry veterans, GridLiance is a portfolio of the Blackstone Group, a leading energy infrastructure investor. GridLiance’s business model is to partner with municipalities, public power agencies and electric cooperatives (Public Power) to increase system reliability and lower costs. GridLiance’s differentiated operating model provides its Public Power partners with new opportunities to invest in regulated transmission projects or rely on GridLiance to plan and construct transmission for their benefit. GridLiance currently operates over 575 miles of transmission lines and related substation facilities in Nevada and Oklahoma. The company has long-term partnerships with Public Power entities operating in Missouri, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, and Kansas, and is negotiating new arrangements with utilities in several other states. For more information about GridLiance, visit www.GridLiance.com.