VEA transmission line sale clears hurdle

Valley Electric Association’s nearly $200 million sale of its high-voltage system to Chicago-based GridLiance Holdco cleared an important regulatory hurdle, the cooperative announced Tuesday.

GridLiance Holdco has been approved as a participating transmission owner by the California Independent System Operator. The approval moves the sale of the 230-kV system to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for consideration.

In anticipation of the sale, VEA’s board approved a 9.9 percent rate reduction, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2017. The board passed the rate reduction at its November meeting. A $579 sales premium will be paid to VEA members after the close.

A resolution to reduce rates was approved Tuesday by VEA’s Board of Directors at its regular meeting. Other benefits from the sale will include the largest capital credit retirement in the cooperative’s five-decade history and rate stability through 2024. The sale is to close in the first quarter of 2017.