Trans-Elect's New Transmission Development (NTD) Company announced that Houston-based Steag Power has stated its interest in building a generation facility that will produce up to 1,500 MW of electricity in the Four Corners area and move its power over the Navajo Transmission Project (NTP) being jointly developed by Trans-Elect's NTD and the Navajo Nation's Dinè Power Authority (DPA). Steag has agreed to aggressively pursue customers and permits for its intended coal-fired generation.
The announcement was made at a public conference in Scottsdale, Arizona by executives from Trans-Elect NTD, Steag and DPA. The conference is introducing the previously announced 470-mile NTP transmission project that stretches across four states to potential utility and energy customers in the region.
Steag's action to pursue the generation facility makes them Trans-Elect's anchor supplier. Finding a primary customer comes a full year sooner than expected, according to Bob Mitchell, CEO of Trans-Elect's NTD.
"We are very pleased to have a company with Steag's experience, expertise and financial standing agreeing to take a lead in developing much needed power generation in the Southwest," Mitchell said. "Bringing Steag to the table will greatly accelerate our efforts to move the NTP transmission line forward and thereby increase system reliability and provide better access to low-cost power."
Steag Power President Dirk Straussfeld agreed there is a pressing need in this fast growing region for reliable and predictable low-cost power generation.
"We are excited about this opportunity and the leadership from Trans-Elect and DPA to develop the Navajo Transmission Project," Straussfeld said. "We have already started to actively court new customers for this plant that will solidify our role in the world market as an independent power producer and further enhance our business value."
The new generation project's announcement is a critical first step in efforts by Steag to secure commitments from customers to use the new capacity and transmission. Steag will take the lead in developing the generation project and will seek additional partners.
In addition, Trans-Elect's NTD currently is pursuing other potential users of the line with special emphasis on renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar. It is well known that the lack of available transmission has been a major impediment to expanding the use of renewable energy in the United States and Trans-Elect's NTD is committed to seeking renewable energy resources for the transmission lines that the company develops.
As Trans-Elect's NTD and Steag secure additional commitments, each company will secure the final permits for construction of the NTP line and the generation facility.
"DPA is dedicated to bringing large-scale viable energy projects to the Navajo Nation," said Steven C. Begay, General Manager of DPA. "We are excited to have partners like Trans-Elect and Steag Power to bring credibility and real progress to our efforts. DPA believes that NTP and a new coal-fueled power plant on the Navajo Nation not only provides a return to investors but a return to the Navajo Nation in terms of jobs, tax revenues, dividends, and energy infrastructure."
Steag Power LLC is an affiliate of Steag AG (www.steag.de), an independent power producer (IPP) operating more than 10,000 MW of clean and reliable generation. Currently, Steag has more than 1300 MW in coal-fired generation under construction and expects to close financing on one coal fueled power project in Asia this year.
Dinè Power Authority is an enterprise of the Navajo Nation empowered to initiate electric power infrastructure development on the Nation's land.
It has been working on Navajo Transmission Project since 1992 and is also engaged in the development of coal-fired generation and natural gas-fired generation for the western area wholesale markets. DPA generally seeks to partner with power companies in the private sector who have the operating and financing skills needed to complete such large, capital-intensive projects.
Trans-Elect, Inc., based in Reston, VA (www.trans-elect.com) is the first and only truly independent transmission company in North America.
Trans-Elect now owns or serves as general partner for assets totaling nearly $1.1 billion, which represents 14,400 miles of transmission lines in the U.S. and Canada. Trans-Elect's NTD was launched in Fall of 2002.
NTD's singular focus is to develop and construct new electric transmission lines.