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Project Update

SOO Green Renewable Rail Project, US [free access]

April 18, 2019

Developers: Siemens, a Germany-based energy-engineering firm; and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a Denmark-based fund specialising in renewables 


Project details and status: The project will help in transmitting wind power from Minnesota and Dakota to Iowa and thus will connect two of the largest electricity markets in the US—the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and PJM Interconnection.


The proposed 349-mile (562-km) 525 kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) project is expected to cost about USD2.5 billion and is scheduled to be operational by 2024. The developer will be required to secure permits from several local, state and federal agencies, including the Iowa Utilities Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, to go ahead with the project.


SOO Green is an innovative project that seeks to replicate the model used to build America’s fibre optic network by burying an underground HVDC transmission line along an existing railroad, to transport low-cost wind energy from the Upper Midwest region to eastern US markets.


In March 2019, Siemens and CIP purchased the 2,100 MW HVDC SOO Green Renewable Rail project from North Carolina-based Direct Connect Development Company (DC DevCo). As per the contract, DC DevCo will act as the developer, and Siemens will supply HVDC converter technology and services for the project. The US construction firm Jingoli Power has also invested in the project.