Pattern Energy Group LP says it has achieved milestones in the development of its Southern Cross transmission project by reaching an agreement with several existing Texas utilities and submitting two key applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Pattern, through its affiliate Southern Cross Transmission LLC, has completed the negotiation of a settlement agreement with Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric LLC, and the City of Garland, Texas, and its municipally owned electric utility Garland Power & Light (Garland), regarding the terms and conditions for the interconnection of the project with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the provision of transmission service into and out of ERCOT from the project, contingent upon the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals from FERC.
This settlement agreement is part of an application Pattern filed with FERC requesting an order from the commission directing Garland to interconnect the project with ERCOT and directing Oncor and CenterPoint to provide transmission service into and out of ERCOT.
The order contains a disclaimer of jurisdiction by the commission, ensuring the continued status quo of all transmission providers and entities within ERCOT as generally exempt from FERC regulation, according to Pattern. In addition, the company filed a separate application with FERC requesting authority to sell transmission service on Southern Cross at negotiated rates with interested shippers. This rate application details the proposed provisions for subscribing anchor tenants and holding an open season as a participant-funded transmission project.
Pattern is developing the Southern Cross project to add a high-voltage direct-current transmission tie of up to 3,000 MW between ERCOT in Texas and the transmission grid in the southeastern U.S. by 2016.
This project, scheduled to be complete by 2016, is expected to facilitate the further development of additional Texas wind projects by creating access to new markets. The Southern Cross project will allow Texas to expand its traditional role as an energy supplier, adding wind energy to its portfolio of major exports, according to Pattern.