Overhead transmission lines in California

California ISO Selects LS Power for Round Table Transmission Project

March 11, 2020
The CAISO had received 12 qualified proposals, all of which contained some form of cost containment to protect consumers.

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has selected LS Power Grid California to finance, construct, own, operate and maintain the Round Mountain 500-kV Area Dynamic Reactive Power Support Project. 

The Round Mountain Project was deemed a critical reliability project by CAISO to mitigate high transmission voltages on the northern California grid.

The CAISO conducted a competitive selection process pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order No. 1000 and selected LS Power's proposal from 12 qualified proposals, all of which contained some form of cost containment to protect consumers. The CAISO selection report stated that LS Power's proposal "will provide lower cost, greater rate certainty, and less cost risk than the proposals of the other project sponsors." 

LS Power's project is designed for high availability, meets or exceeds the CAISO specifications, includes cost-containment guarantees and is expected to result in costs that are significantly lower than the estimated cost provided by the local incumbent utility to the CAISO.

The project to be constructed by LS Power consists of two static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) units and a new 500-kV switching station to be installed in rural Shasta County, California, interconnecting the two existing Round Mountain to Table Mountain 500-kV transmission lines. The in-service date is planned for June 2024. 

"The selection of LS Power's proposal for the Round Mountain project, together with the selection of LS Power's proposal for the Gates transmission project in January 2020, is expected to save California consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. It is significant that all bidders proposed some form of cost containment — a reflection of the value of FERC Order No. 1000 competitive windows. It is clear that consumers would benefit from opening up more projects like this to competition across the U.S.," said Paul Thessen, President of LS Power.

The Round Market project represents LS Power's third competitively procured transmission award by the CAISO. LS Power's competitive transmission project awards from the CAISO date back to 2016, when affiliate DesertLink was awarded the Harry Allen to Eldorado 500-kV Transmission Project, a 60-mile transmission line that is under construction and planned to be placed in service by May 2020.   

"We are pleased that CAISO recognized the benefits of our proposal and look forward to working with stakeholders to implement this important project," said Thessen. 

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