National Grid Plc, which manages electricity networks in Great Britain and three Northeast states in the U.S., has invested $40 million in Clean Line Energy Partners LLC to help the company build power lines for inland wind farms.
Clean Line plans to use the funding to develop four projects that will deliver 14,000 megawatts of wind power generated in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Iowa and New Mexico to consumers in other states, National Grid said Tuesday in a statement.
Clean Line executives have met with Oklahoma landowners this fall as the company plans a transmission line route from western Oklahoma wind farms to Tennessee Valley Authority facilities near Memphis.
Closely held Clean Line develops high-voltage direct current transmission systems, which are more efficient than alternating current systems that move power with more electrical losses, according to the Houston-based company’s website. It wants to deliver power from some of the windiest areas of the U.S. to cities that don’t have access to the clean energy due to a lack of transmission.
“Clean Line has a strong and capable development team and a portfolio of compelling projects that will advance the growth of renewable energy and the modernization of America’s energy infrastructure,” said National Grid CEO Steve Holliday.
Under the transaction’s terms, National Grid will be able to acquire “a significant ownership stake” in Clean Line’s HVDC projects, according to the statement. Clean Line’s other backers, Ziff Brothers Investments and the Zilkha family, will retain their existing equity stakes in the company.
Clean Line will use the proceeds from National Grid to advance the development of its four HVDC transmission projects that will connect onshore wind energy resources in the United States to communities and cities with demand for low-cost, clean power.
“We continue to make steady progress on the development of our four long-distance HVDC transmission projects and National Grid’s participation in Clean Line will further enhance our technical, financial, and development capabilities,” said Michael Skelly, president of Clean Line.