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National Grid to pour $40m into Clean Line Energy

National Grid Plc (LON:NG), UK’s gas and electricity network operator, said it would make an equity investment of $40m (€31m) in US-based green-energy focused transmission lines developer Clean Line Energy Partners LLC.

The British company will make the investment through a unit of its US arm using corporate funds. The deal is in line with National Grid’s long-term plan to develop and run high quality energy infrastructure. In the coming eight years the firm plans to direct 10% of its investment outside its regulated activities in the UK and the northeastern parts of the US, it said.

Clean Line will use the raised amount to back its four high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission projects at home that will transport the output of onshore wind farms. These projects include the Plains & Eastern Clean Line that will carry 3.5 GW of green power from western Oklahoma, southwestern Kansas and Texas to the southeastern US; the Grain Belt Express Clean Line to move 3.5 GW of electricity generated in Kansas to Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and farther east; the Rock Island Clean Line to transport 3.5 GW from northwestern Iowa to Illinois and other eastern states; and the Centennial West Clean Line to deliver 3.5 GW of green electricity produced in New Mexico to California.

National Grid noted that through the equity investment in the developer it will have an option to take stakes in these HVDC projects.

According to the joint press release, Clean Line’s existing investors Zilkha family and funds related to ZBI Ventures will keep their respective interests in it.

Lazard has been appointed financial advisor for the deal, whose wrap-up is pending regulatory approvals.


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