October 23, 2017 10:08:44 AM
Area construction companies and other local businesses will have the opportunity to attend a vendor fair Tuesday for information on the Southern Cross Transmission Project, a proposed $700 million wind energy transmission line, which if approved, will run through the Golden Triangle.
Southern Cross is hosting the fair from 1-4 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott in Columbus, according to a company press release. The company is looking for everything from construction and land maintenance firms to equipment rentals and food and lodging services.
"We had a vendor fair ... about a year ago and just decided to do it once more just to give another opportunity for folks who weren't aware of the project or folks who were unable to come by or folks we just hadn't reached," Southern Cross spokesperson Denton Gibbes said. "So this is kind of a second pass at the community and trying to enlist vendors who might have an opportunity to do business with us."
Southern Cross, a subsidiary of Pattern Energy Group, plans to build the 400-mile, 500-kilovolt line from Texas to east Mississippi. The company filed its formal submission and route proposal with the Mississippi Public Service Commission in April.
The proposed route enters the Golden Triangle in western Oktibbeha County, then heads into Clay County north of West Point. It enters Monroe County near Hamilton and finishes in Lowndes County at a $300 million converter station set to be built in Caledonia.
The MPSC has not yet approved the project. Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District Brandon Presley said the MPSC plans to hold a series of hearings on the transmission line, the schedule of which should be set within the next 30 days.
Tuesday's fair will be "come-and-go" where business representatives can speak one-on-one with Southern Cross team members and submit their company's information, the press release said. Company spokespeople say they will make every effort to include Mississippi contractors and suppliers in the transmission line's development and construction.
Both Presley and Gibbes said a handful of landowners along the proposed route have intervened in the project, and Southern Cross representatives are working with them daily to address their concerns.
"Hopefully we can get (those concerns addressed) before we get to a hearing on the project," Presley said.
Project employment during the project's peak is expected to be more than 650 jobs, the press release said.
Once the project is completed, it is expected to create about 30 jobs at the converter station and 12 maintenance jobs.
Southern Cross will also hold a vendor fair in Ridgeland at the Hyatt Place on Wednesday from 1-4 p.m. Business representatives unable to attend either fair may submit their company's information at www.SouthernCrossTransmission.com or call 1-888-412-6339.
Those wanting more information on the project should go to the same website or email Info-MS@SouthernCrossTransmission.com.
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