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GridLiance strikes $10M deal to acquire Mo. town's transmission assets

GridLiance Holdco LP, through its South Central MCN LLC subsidiary, is planning to acquire about 10 miles of transmission lines and related facilities from the city of Nixa, Mo.

Under the proposed asset purchase transaction, valued at about $10 million in cash, South Central will acquire the following transmission assets from Nixa: a 3.92-mile, 161-kV line built in 2006 and operated at 69 kV that connects City Utilities of Springfield's James River Power Station to Nixa's northeast substation; a 2.31-mile, 69-kV line built in 2006 that connects Nixa's northeast substation to Nixa's tracker substation; a 1.8-mile, 69-kV line built in 2000 that connects Nixa's tracker substation to Nixa's downtown substation; a 1.24-mile, 69-kV line built in 1984 that connects Nixa's downtown substation to Nixa's ESPY substation; and a 1.55-mile, 69-kV line built in 2012 that connects Nixa's ESPY substation to Southwestern's Nixa substation.

At deal close, South Central will transfer functional control of the facilities to the Southwest Power Pool Inc. and the assets will be incorporated to the Southwestern Power Administration pricing zone, known as Zone 10. Nixa will still operate its local distribution system while South Central waits to have its own control center for the facilities. Until such time, South Central will contract with an existing control center.

The proposed acquisition was originally formulated to place the assets into Zone 3 or the City Utilities of Springfield's transmission pricing zone. The acquisition of the Nixa assets was the smaller of two announced by GridLiance, backed by a Blackstone Group LP affiliate, in September 2015. GridLiance is investing in transmission assets owned by public power utilities.

After the parties decide to transfer the assets to Zone 10, they filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 11, 2016. Subsequently, South Central withdrew the application as it was unable to assess the rate impact of the transaction in Zone 10 because Southwestern was still evaluating its rate structure for network integration transmission service.

In the new application, submitted to FERC on June 1, South Central maintains that the transaction will have minimal impact on Zone 10 rates. South Central asked FERC to approve the transaction by Aug. 25 to meet the target deal close date of Aug. 31. (FERC docket EC17-126)