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After Months of Inaction, FERC May Soon Take Up 230 kV Sale

With new members recently nominated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, many energy projects – including the sale of Valley Electric Association's 230 kilovolt transmission system – are closer to resolution.

President Trump has nominated Senate staffer Neil Chatterjee and Pennsylvania regulator Robert Powelson to the five-member commission, which currently is down to two members. The nominations are moving through the U.S. Senate toward a full floor vote for confirmation. Once that occurs the commission will have a quorum and can conduct business.           

The transmission sale has been held up since January for lack of a quorum. The sale of the 230 kV system must be approved by FERC before the transaction can close.

In addition to Chatterjee and Powelson, the name of Richard Glick, a Senate staffer who formerly worked at the Energy Department, has been mentioned as a third possible appointment to FERC.

Once the Senate signs off on at least two of the nominees, FERC will take up the issue of the transmission lines.  

VEA member-owners will receive checks for $579 each after the sale of the transmission system closes. In addition, the largest patronage capital retirement in the Cooperative's 52-year history will take place several weeks following the issuance of the $579 checks to members.

Last fall, more than two-thirds of the Co-op's 17,500 members approved of the sale of 160 miles of transmission lines to GridLiance Holdco for $200.6 million. Approximately $17.5 million of the proceeds from the sale will be used to fund the sales premium to members and the patronage retirement. Much of the rest will go toward debt retirement. 

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