GridLiance Holdco, L.P., has completed its acquisition of the City of Nixa’s (Mo.) electric transmission assets, including a 10-mile, 69-kV transmission line between the City of Springfield and the Southwestern Power Administration, as well as four substations and related infrastructure, according to an April 4 statement posted on GridLiance’s website.
“This transaction represents a major milestone in leveling the playing field for municipalities that seek to enjoy the same benefits as large utilities,” Calvin Crowder, GridLiance president and CEO, said in the statement. “We are excited about the reliability and economic improvements the transaction will bring to Southwest Missouri and we value immensely our ongoing partnership with the City of Nixa.”
The statement noted that as the final major approval for the transaction, FERC on March 15 approved the application of GridLiance subsidiary, South Central MCN LLC, to acquire the Nixa Assets “as consistent with the public interest.”
In its order, FERC said that it finds that the transaction will not have an adverse effect on horizontal competition because the transaction does not involve any change in ownership or control of any generating facilities. FERC also said that because the transaction does not involve the transfer of generation facilities or inputs to electric power generation, or the combination of transmission facilities with affiliated generation in the same market, FERC finds that it will not have an adverse effect on vertical competition.
The Missouri Public Service Commission granted South Central a certificate to operate as a public utility in Missouri in 2016, the April 4 statement noted.
With those approvals, South Central MCN has assumed full operational responsibility of Nixa’s transmission assets effective April 1, according to the statement.
“The City of Nixa initially invested in a second transmission line to ensure reliability,” Doug Colvin, director of Nixa Utilities and Public Works, said in the statement. “However the ever changing regulatory and tariff process makes it difficult for a small distribution utility like Nixa to operate transmission today. That is why we are glad to partner with GridLiance, who will handle operations and compliance issues while ensuring the residents of Nixa continue to enjoy reliable transmission service.”
Nixa Utilities will continue to own the distribution lines that go to homes and businesses in Nixa, and customers will continue to pay their electric bills to Nixa Utilities, according to the statement. The transaction means that Nixa Utilities no longer have to maintain the transmission lines that connect the city to the regional grid and power stations where electricity is generated, the statement noted, adding that over time, the transaction will save the city money on transmission costs.