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MidAmerican decides not to pursue Midwest Power Transmission project

MidAmerican Energy Holdings has decided not to pursue development of the Midwest Power Transmission project but will provide no additional details about its decision to abandon the 765-kV project that would have connected the Kewaunee substation in Illinois to Hazelton, Iowa.

The project was originally to be developed as a joint venture between MidAmerican and Electric Transmission America (ETA), which itself was a joint venture between MidAmerican and American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).

In late 2012, AEP and MidAmerican decided not to pursue any future projects through the joint venture. In December, an AEP spokesperson said the parties had mutually agreed that the JV's business model "was not designed to develop transmission projects in a competitive environment following FERC Order 1000 and the resulting changes to regional and interregional planning processes."

Subsequently, the ownership interests of the projects planned but not started under the JV were restructured. Subsidiaries of MidAmerican and AEP executed an agreement through which the companies traded their respective ownership interests in the Riteline projects in Illinois and Indiana, and the MPT project, an AEP spokesperson told TransmissionHub.

Under the agreement, AEP and Exelon (NYSE:EXC) obtained the Riteline projects, while MidAmerican secured full ownership of the MPT project. Less than a month into 2013, MidAmerican said it would not be moving forward with the project.  "The project is no longer being pursued by MidAmerican Energy," a MidAmerican spokesperson said in an e-mail to TransmissionHub Jan. 25. Requests for an interview to obtain additional details about the decision and the circumstances that led to it were declined.

According to TransmissionHub data, the MPT was to be a 180-mile, 765-kV transmission line that was part of the SMART transmission study and the Midwest ISO's regional generation outlet study (RGOS) planning effort. As originally presented as the MEC, the project was estimated to cost between $650 million and $865 million. The line miles of construction was expected to range between 130 miles and 170 miles and had been scheduled for completion in 2013.

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