Jack Thayer

Energy Capital Partners and Exelon are looking for opportunities to invest in, or buy, transmission projects, officials told attendees at Platts 27th Global Power Markets conference in Las Vegas.

ECP is in constant dialogue with developers and likes late stage development projects, Perry Cole, managing director, told PI on the sidelines. He said that ERCOT “got it right” with the way it developed the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone projects. ECP would consider similar opportunities to the north under similar transmission request for proposals in Alberta and Ontario, Cole said. In that case, ECP would probably look for a partner, he said.

”It’s still got a long way to go,” Cole told PI, referring to the point at which the permitting process is streamlined. Private equity investors like transmission projects, but the years-long permitting process hinders involvement at the outset. Cole mentioned that several federal administrations had talked about streamlining the permitting process, thereby paving the way for more investments, but a comprehensive scheme to shorten the timeframe has not materialized.

Jack Thayer, executive v.p. and cfo of Exelon, said in the morning keynote address that Exelon has been in the market looking for merchant transmission pipelines. He noted that the U.S. will need roughly $105 billion in transmission projects and upgrades from 2010 to 2020. He declined to comment on where the company is looking to buy projects or whether any deals are in the works, saying that no public announcements have been made.

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