Railroad-following HVDC transmission project adds a utility investor


SOO Green HVDC Link said that PPL Corp. has acquired an ownership interest in the proposed $2.5 billion project.

If built, SOO Green would be an underground HVDC transmission line located primarily along Canadian Pacific rail lines between Mason City, Iowa, and Plano, Illinois. It would connect the MISO and PJM regional energy markets, enabling the delivery of 2,100 MW of renewable energy from the upper Midwest to eastern markets.

The 350-mile-long project would use 525KV class underground cable and Siemens’ Voltage Sourced Converter technology. Construction could begin in 2023 and would take three years to complete.

Project developers said that installing transmission cables underground within railroad rights-of-way avoids using eminent domain to secure the project route from multiple private landowners.

Gregory N. Dudkin, executive vice president and chief operating officer for PPL, said the project aims to remove barriers to transmission line construction that will be essential to connect more large-scale renewable energy to the grid.

Owned by investment funds managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Siemens Energy, Jingoli Power, and PPL Corp., the SOO Green HVDC Link is being developed by Minneapolis-based Direct Connect Development Co.

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