After a decade of arduous and costly effort and not much to show for it, US developers of merchant interstate bulk electric transmission for wind are ready to try something different – underground high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) projects.

“When you build the project underground and along existing infrastructure, the risks and problems associated with it go down,” contends Joe DeVito, president of Direct Connect Development Company (DC DevCo), whose $2.5bn SOO Green Renewable Rail project has attracted the industry’s attention.

Project investors include Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Siemens’ financial services arm and New Jersey-based Jingoli Power, a provider of professional services for utility construction projects.