The tribe had the corridor and created Morongo Transmission, LLC., to invest some $400 million or up to 50 percent of the project. That’s all been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The deal will be “hugely profitable” for the tribe but will not cost the utility’s ratepayers any more than it would have cost without the tribe’s involvement. Because of the way utilities are structured, the very right to invest in a project is valuable.
Thus Morongo Transmission gets the same revenue that Edison would have received and will earn a profit based on a formula. And Edison saved money in the deal because it did not have to pay as much as $500 million for the right of way (since it does not own the lines, the tribe does).
“It's a wonderful story. I’m very proud of it,” Tureen said.