GridLiance GP and Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of The Blackstone Group L.P., today announced the formation of GridLiance, the nation’s first competitive transmission company focused on collaborating with underserved U.S. municipal, cooperative and joint action agency utilities to jointly plan, develop, own and operate transmission infrastructure.
These new projects will deliver important customer benefits, including lower delivered energy costs and more reliable transmission service, according to the companies.
Founded by industry veteran Edward Rahill, GridLiance will enable its current and future public power partners to participate in the development of new transmission projects that earn a regulated return from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or other regulatory bodies.
Historically, transmission-dependent public power utilities have been unable to invest in — and financially benefit from — transmission projects because they lack the scale, planning infrastructure, regulatory influence and the engagement necessary to effectively participate in the regional transmission organization planning process.
Public power’s inability to participate equally with incumbent investor-owned utilities in the award of new transmission construction projects has left them without the ability to earn margins from regionally- funded projects that would offset rising transmission rates. At the same time, public power utilities lack, in many cases, the interconnected transmission networks enjoyed by other incumbents because the regional transmission planning process does not always reflect public power’s needs.
Current and future GridLiance partners will be better positioned to influence planning studies and reverse this trend by leveraging GridLiance’s experience and planning efforts. As future projects reflect public power’s transmission needs, the grid will better serve the entire region and create lasting benefits for public power and their customers.