ITC Selected for Two Sections of 765-kV Kansas Transmission Project
September 9, 2008
Mid-Kansas Electric Co. and Sunflower Electric Power Corp. have reached an agreement with ITC Great Plains, LLC, for the transmission company to build two of the three sections that will comprise the 765-kV “Kansas V-Plan” transmission project proposed in the wind-rich state.
The first section of the line would go from Spearville to Comanche County, while the second section would go from Comanche County to Medicine Lodge. Construction of the project is subject to state certificate and siting approvals, the resolution of cost recovery and cost allocation issues, and lender consent. As part of the agreement, Mid-Kansas and Sunflower have offered Westar Energy the opportunity to build the third section, which would run from Medicine Lodge to Sedgwick County, terminating just outside Wichita. (Westar operates a service territory that overlaps portions of the third section.) Should Westar elect not to participate, ITC Great Plains said it is committed to building any portion of that section.
“We are proud to work with ITC in a project that will enhance the reliability and affordability of energy to our members and allow the import and export of energy, while promoting further development of renewable resources, including wind, in western Kansas and the entire region,” said Earl Watkins, president and CEO of Mid-Kansas and Sunflower. “We hope Westar will join the endeavor.”
As the No. 3 state for wind resource, Kansas is considered a key state in terms of wind power reaching its full potential to contribute to the nation’s electricity source mix. The building of modern and efficient high-voltage transmission, such as the 765-kV line that would make up the Kansas V-Plan, is considered essential to tapping the nation’s wind resources, in addition to improving reliability on the nation’s antiquated grid.
“This agreement is a revolutionary approach and a major milestone in the quest to build a 21 st-century transmission grid in Kansas,” said Carl Huslig, president of ITC Great Plains. “ITC, Mid-Kansas, and Sunflower believe that collaboration is an excellent model for building crucial infrastructure. The winners will be Kansans, who will benefit from a robust transmission grid that will increase reliability, lower costs, provide equal access to energy, and further wind energy development.”
Source: Wind Energy Weekly, Sept. 5, 2008, Vol. 27, Issue 1305