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MISO selects NextEra subsidiary to build 500-kV transmission line in East Texas

The Midcontinent ISO selected a NextEra Energy Inc. affiliate to build a 500-kV transmission line in eastern Texas, the second time it has selected a project developer through a competitive process.

The 23-mile Hartburg-Sabine Junction project, which also includes four 230-kV lines and a substation, is intended to alleviate congestion in Entergy Corp.'s service territory in MISO's South region, including the Texas counties of Jasper, Newton and Sabine, MISO said, adding that it will also provide end-use consumers with access to new, lower-cost sources of energy supply.

MISO said in a news release that NextEra's proposal, one of 12 from 10 developers that were considered finalist proposals, will cost an estimated $115 million. It is expected to come into service by mid-2023. Prior to naming the finalists, MISO said it had received a "robust" number of responses after soliciting proposals for the project in February.

"MISO was impressed by the quality and depth of all proposals for this project and we congratulate NextEra on their merit-based selection as the developer," Aubrey Johnson, MISO's executive director of system planning and competitive transmission, said in a statement.

A NextEra entity called NextEra Energy Transmission Midwest LLC will build, own, maintain and operate the transmission project. According to its tariff, MISO evaluates proposals based on cost and design, project implementation, operations and maintenance, and transmission planning participation.

The Hartburg-Sabine project is MISO's second to be awarded through a competitive process under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order 1000, which opened the doors for other developers to participate in transmission projects instead of only incumbent owners. In 2016, MISO staff requested bids on its first competitively selected project, the 345-kV Duff-Coleman transmission project in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky. The grid operator expects the Duff-Coleman project, awarded to an affiliate of LS Power Group, to be in service by Jan. 1, 2021. LS Power also bid on the Hartburg-Sabine project.

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