SOO Green is a first of its kind underground HVDC transmission line located primarily along Canadian Pacific rail that will 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 innovative 350-mile project will use state-of-the-art 525KV class underground cable and Siemens' modern Voltage Sourced Converter technology. Construction is expected to commence in 2023 and is expected to take three years to complete.
"SOO Green is very pleased to welcome PPL to the SOO Green team," said Trey Ward, founder of the SOO Green project. "As a diversified utility with deep transmission development expertise, PPL will bring unique capabilities to help advance this landmark project."
As the first link in a national clean energy grid, SOO Green's innovative underground rail co-location development model can be replicated to accelerate decarbonization and enhance grid reliability and resilience. Installing transmission cables safely underground within railroad rights-of-way protects landowners by avoiding using eminent domain to secure the project route. In addition, installing cables underground enables faster permitting by avoiding environmental and visual impacts associated with traditional overhead transmission lines. The privately financed, $2.5 billion SOO Green project imposes no costs on ratepayers, avoiding the lengthy and complex cost allocation process.
"PPL is pleased to support a project focused on transforming how major transmission line projects are built in the U.S.," said Gregory N. Dudkin, executive vice president and chief operating officer for PPL Corporation. "SOO Green's innovative approach aims to remove key barriers to interregional transmission line construction that will be essential to connecting more largescale renewable energy to the grid. As PPL seeks to advance a clean energy transition, we look forward to gaining insight from SOO Green's innovative approach, and we are excited to lend our capabilities to support the project's success."
"SOO Green is a critical link in building the clean energy grid of the future," said Karl Miller, CEO of Jingoli Power, a co-sponsor and the project's general contractor. "We're thrilled PPL has recognized the project's revolutionary model to ease constraints for other regional wind and solar developments that will help make the U.S.'s ambitious clean energy goals possible. We're eager to get to work with our new partners."
About SOO Green HVDC Link, LLC: Owned by investment funds managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Siemens Energy, Jingoli Power, and PPL Corporation, the SOO Green HVDC Link is being developed by Minneapolis-based Direct Connect Development Company, LLC. For more information, visit www.soogreenrr.com.
About PPL Corporation: PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is a leading U.S. energy company focused on providing electricity and natural gas safely, reliably and affordably to more than 2.5 million customers in the U.S. PPL's high-performing, award-winning utilities are addressing energy challenges head-on by building smarter, more resilient and more dynamic power grids and advancing sustainable energy solutions. For more information, visit www.pplweb.com.
The SOO Green HVDC Link will provide a number of significant benefits; it will notably:
- reinforce the transmission grid as an inter-regional “backbone” transmission facility linking the transmission systems operated by MISO and PJM, and increase the transfer capacity on the existing grid;
- offer compelling market opportunities via a more direct, efficient and controllable path for energy and capacity to flow between the two systems, which in turn should facilitate price convergence between the regions and make each market more efficient;
- connect to a strong point on the MISO system, allowing the SOO Green transmission line to draw energy and capacity from different generation resources across the entire region, and increasing the geographic diversity and number of hours in which different types of generation resources can utilize the line, thus increasing the amount of capacity and energy that can be sold into PJM;
- reduce viewshed and environmental impact through underground co-location within an existing pre-disturbed, privately owned railroad right-of-way, which not only avoids impacts to neighboring landowners and the need for extensive use of eminent domain to secure real estate rights, but also avoids or minimizes the typical impacts of overhead transmission line construction on sensitive environmental areas, including wetlands and forested areas; and
- promote reliability — VSC power flow is one hundred percent (100%) controllable and can:
- provide large amounts of reactive power controllability, independent of real power transfer;
- aid in frequency control, given the fast power controllability;
- meet the exact active power transfer demanded;
- provide spinning reserves; and
- assist in congestion management.