Local businesses sought for transmission project

From Press & Staff Reports

The second of two vendor recruitment fairs is today for the Southern Cross Transmission line, a project proposing the construction of an approximately 400-mile, 500-kV direct current transmission line across Mississippi.

Facilities would be built over a three-year period as an avenue for sharing renewable energy from wind farms and to diversify the supply of electricity in the region.

“We are committed to utilizing local resources throughout the approval and construction processes of the Southern Cross Transmission Project,” said James Dermody, project manager for Southern Cross Transmission. “These vendor recruitment fairs are intended to give us an early start in the process of identifying qualified vendors across Mississippi.”

The second vendor recruitment fair is from 2-4 p.m. today, Oct. 26, at the Holiday Inn Express at 413 SE Frontage Road in Winona. Another was held Tuesday in Columbus.

At today’s vendor recruitment fair attendees can come and go at their convenience — there is no formal presentation — speak to project team members one-on-one, and submit their company’s information. Potential vendor opportunities include but are not limited to land surveying and clearing, land maintenance, weed control, construction, electrical, O&M inspection, and food and lodging services.

If regulatory and other approvals are granted, project construction is expected to begin in 2018 and continue through 2021.

The proposed transmission line would begin at the border between Texas and Louisiana and extend east/northeast. Two of the alternative routes come through Webster County — one on the northwest corner and the other south to north on the east side of the county.

Mississippi will be home to the project’s eastern DC converter station and about 200 miles of DC transmission line. The project’s total investment in Mississippi is estimated at about $700 million and includes long-term tax benefits such as property taxes to counties, easement payments to landowners, and sales and use taxes to the state.

Southern Cross Transmission LLC, a subsidiary of Pattern Energy Group LP, “Pattern Development,” is developing the project. Although a final project route has not yet been selected, the company expects to file for regulatory approval with the Mississippi Public Service Commission before the end of this year.

More information about the project is available at SouthernCrossTransmission.com.