U.S. Department of Energy Selects LS Power’s SWIP-North Project for the Transmission Facilitation Program

U.S. Department of Energy Selects LS Power’s SWIP-North Project for the Transmission Facilitation Program

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) Grid Deployment Office today announced that it has selected a project owned by Great Basin Transmission, LLC (“GBT”) to enter into capacity contract negotiations as part of DOE’s Transmission Facilitation Program. GBT is a wholly owned subsidiary of LS Power.

The Southwest Intertie Project-North (“SWIP-North”) is a $1+ billion, 285-mile, 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line that will connect the Midpoint substation near Twin Falls, Idaho, with the Robinson Summit substation near Ely, Nevada, providing a new pathway for delivering energy between the Desert Southwest and the Pacific Northwest.

SWIP-North will also extend to Idaho the benefits of transmission lines developed earlier by LS Power that have served Nevada and the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”). The concept of an inter-regional transmission project spanning multiple states originated in the 1980s, with LS Power acquiring rights to the project in 2005. Since then, LS Power has developed or will develop the following projects:

  • One Nevada Transmission Line (“ON Line”) is a 231-mile, 500 kV transmission line connecting the Harry Allen substation near Las Vegas, Nevada, to the Robinson Summit substation near Ely, Nevada, which was built in partnership with NV Energy and placed in service in 2014. DOE facilitated the debt financing for ON Line through its Loan Programs Office in 2011.
  • DesertLink is a 60-mile, 500 kV transmission line connecting the Eldorado substation to the Harry Allen substation, both in Clark County, Nevada, which was placed in service in 2020.
  • SWIP-North is the final link of the transmission corridor extending from Idaho to southern Nevada that will enable the bidirectional flow of approximately 2,000 megawatts of electricity, increase grid reliability for the West, and provide new transmission access to the thousands of megawatts of renewable resources under development in the region. Visit lspowergrid.com/portfolio/#swipnorth for more information.

“SWIP-North will deliver economic benefits and strengthen the electric grid in the western U.S., while also connecting renewable energy resources to customers that need them,” said Paul Thessen, President of LS Power Development. “SWIP-North’s bidirectional capability and ability to unleash latent capacity on ON Line make it a valuable and cost-effective transmission system improvement. This final piece of the transmission corridor will provide benefits to multiple Western states by helping meet electricity needs and increasing economic development and employment.

“We are honored to partner again with the DOE,” added Thessen. “The selection of SWIP-North for a potential capacity contract provides an anchor that will allow us to move forward more quickly with procurement activities and securing slots for long-lead equipment, thereby proceeding to construction and placing the project in service faster than otherwise possible.”

Construction on SWIP-North is slated to begin in 2025, with completion in 2027. Once placed in service, SWIP-North, coupled with ON Line and DesertLink, will:

  • Improve reliability and reduce congestion for the western U.S. electric grid
  • Increase grid resilience against impacts from extreme weather and wildfire events
  • Foster the development of new renewable generation resources and enable the export of excess solar capacity from the Desert Southwest
  • Support the achievement of regional electrification and climate goals
  • In partnership with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, create hundreds of construction jobs for skilled workers and generate millions of dollars in local tax revenues to support surrounding communities

“We sit at an inflection point today where we are building a clean energy system while meeting growing demand, and we’re doing so without putting affordability or reliability at risk,” said Paul Segal, CEO of LS Power. “Enhancing grid reliability and providing access to clean energy resources are top priorities for LS Power. SWIP-North and the benefits it provides are important elements of our focused effort to enhance affordability, sustainability, and reliability across the nation through innovative solutions for power generation, transmission, and energy transition.”

“Investing in the grid means getting more power to more people in more places and DOE is using all of the tools in the toolbox to make that happen,” said Maria Robinson, Director, Grid Deployment Office, U.S. Department of Energy. “But we aren’t just financing the projects of today, we’re investing in the grid of our future. DOE’s unique authorities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act enable innovative mechanisms, like the TFP’s capacity contracts, that are increasing investor and consumer confidence and leveraging private capital as well as public financing. By supporting projects like SWIP-North, we are setting the stage for meaningful impact on advancing critical infrastructure, good-paying jobs, and clean, reliable power throughout the country.”

In December 2023, GBT was selected as part of CAISO’s 2022-2023 Transmission Plan to develop, permit, finance, construct, own, operate and maintain the SWIP-North Project. This selection is subject to certain conditions, as further described on CAISO’s website.

Funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Transmission Facilitation Program (TFP) is a $2.5 billion revolving fund program that will help build and expand interregional transmission lines across the country. Administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Deployment Office (GDO), TFP will provide transmission developers with financial assistance to help develop large-scale new transmission lines, upgrade existing transmission lines, and connect microgrids in HawaiiAlaska, and U.S. territories.

As a national independent transmission provider, LS Power Grid develops, builds, owns, and operates high-voltage electric transmission systems and delivers robust, innovative solutions to create a stronger and more reliable U.S. power grid. Our infrastructure helps transmit electricity safely and cost-effectively across the United States, where our transmission facilities are located in five regional transmission organizations (RTOs) / independent system operators (ISOs) and in other regions, helping to meet the energy planning needs for an electric system spanning 28 states and serving 185+ million people. LS Power Grid is also an advocate for transparent and competitive processes in transmission infrastructure development, as it encourages innovation, helps support the nation’s energy transition to cleaner resources, and lowers costs for consumers. For more information, please visit lspowergrid.com

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Founded in 1990, LS Power is a premier development, investment, and operating company focused on the North American power and energy infrastructure sector, with leading platforms across generation, transmission and energy transition solutions. Since inception, LS Power has developed or acquired 47,000 MW of power generation, including utility-scale solar, wind, hydro, battery energy storage, and natural gas-fired facilities. Additionally, LS Power Grid has built 780+ miles of high-voltage transmission, with 350+ miles and multiple grid infrastructure projects currently under construction or development. LS Power actively invests in and scales businesses that are accelerating the energy transition, including electric vehicle charging, demand response, microgrids, renewable fuels and waste-to-energy platforms. Over the years, LS Power has raised $54 billion in debt and equity capital to support North American infrastructure. For information, please visit www.LSPower.com.