The proposed line will transport wind and solar energy entirely underground between the nation’s largest electric power markets
Direct Connect Development Company (DC DevCo) today announced the SOO Green Renewable Rail project (SOO Green). SOO Green is a proposed 349-mile, 2,100 MW, 525 KV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line that will run underground along an existing railroad. The majority of the project’s route will be located along rail owned by Canadian Pacific. Once completed, SOO Green will run from Mason City, Iowa, to the Chicago, Illinois area.
SOO Green is the first to take its construction underground and to adopt the rail co-location model used in building America’s fiber optic system. The project’s construction methods will limit impacts to the environment by boring under sensitive habitat, limiting the impact on birds and other endangered species. Building SOO Green underground and utilizing an existing railroad right of way will also limit impacts to neighboring landowners.
“The successful deployment of this HVDC technology along railroads will create a market segment that doesn’t exist today, and DC DevCo believes that the SOO Green project will set the standard regarding how transmission lines are developed and constructed in the U.S.,” said Trey Ward, DC DevCo CEO.
SOO Green will serve as a renewable energy hub by connecting two of the largest electric power markets in the United States, MISO and PJM. This creates a convenient location for a large number of renewable energy buyers and sellers to enter into standard transactions.
Additionally, DC DevCo announced Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Jingoli Power, and Siemens Financial Services as the main investors of the project. Siemens is also responsible for the overall system design, engineering, manufacture, civil works, installation and commissioning of the HVDC converter stations that will help power the transmission line.
“CIP is pleased to partner with DC DevCo, Jingoli, and Siemens on this transformative project that will bring clean energy from the resource rich Midwest to satisfy the growing demand in Illinois and other eastern markets. The project will allow CIP and its investors to continue to partner with leading U.S developers, such as DC DevCo, who are utilizing innovative but proven approaches to enable the development, construction and operation of critical energy infrastructure assets while creating sustainable opportunities for the communities in which the project will be located,” said Christian Skakkebaek, Senior Partner of CIP.
“The SOO Green project will provide increased reliability and stability for the PJM and MISO grids, benefiting utility and corporate customers from Chicago to the East Coast. It also fits our model of job creation, and will allow us to continue our practice of hiring a significant number of military veterans on each project Jingoli Power takes part,” said Karl Miller, CEO of Jingoli Power.
“Siemens is pleased to support the SOO Green project developing transmission infrastructure in the U.S. Siemens will supply state-of-the-art HVDC converter technology and services, enabling MISO wind farms to reach consumers in the PJM market,” said Matt Neal, Vice President of Siemens Industry Inc.