DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GridLiance, an independent transmission company with operations throughout the U.S., and Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (TCEC) announced today that they have signed a settlement agreement with American Electric Power Company (AEP) related to the proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection project, a planned 2,000-megawatt wind farm.
Under the terms of the settlement, GridLiance’s subsidiary, South Central MCN LLC, will have the option to construct, own, and operate any additional interconnections to the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project located in the Oklahoma Panhandle counties of Cimarron, Texas, and Beaver. This allows GridLiance to adequately plan and operate its existing transmission system and future interconnections for the benefit of its utility partners, including TCEC. The settlement also preserves TCEC’s right to serve retail electric load in its service area.
“We are pleased to have reached this settlement with AEP,” said Calvin Crowder, President and CEO of GridLiance. “The Panhandle’s economic development depends on a reliable local transmission system that serves multiple needs, and GridLiance remains committed to serving those needs now and in the future.”
In 2015, GridLiance entered into an agreement with TCEC to plan, construct, and operate transmission infrastructure projects and help the cooperative unlock the financial value of its existing transmission assets.
“By partnering with GridLiance on this settlement, we were able to secure the rights to defend the service territory of our retail customers,” said Zac Perkins, CEO of TCEC. “These rights are to last for the life of the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project and will benefit our members over the long term.”
GridLiance is an electric transmission utility holding company. Based in Dallas, Texas, GridLiance is a portfolio company of Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone (NYSE:BX), a leading energy infrastructure investor. GridLiance’s differentiated business model is to work with electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, irrigation districts, and joint action agencies to plan for the future, invest in electric infrastructure and implement strategies that meet its utility partners’ ownership, capital investment, and operational goals. GridLiance currently operates hundreds of miles of transmission lines and related substation facilities in Nevada, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The company has long-term partnerships with utility partners operating in Missouri, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, and Kansas, and is negotiating new arrangements with utilities in several other states. For more information about GridLiance, visit www.gridliance.com.
About Tri-County Electric Cooperative
Headquartered in Hooker, Oklahoma, Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) is a not-for-profit distribution cooperative owned and controlled by its members. TCEC is committed to improving the quality of life for its members and communities by delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service. The cooperative serves about 23,000 electric meters in the Oklahoma Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, the northern border of the Texas Panhandle and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. TCEC is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. For more information, visit www.tcec.coop.