ITC Great Plains and Mid-Kansas Electric Co. have received siting approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission for their portion of the Elm Creek-to-Summit high-voltage electric transmission line project in north central Kansas.
"The Elm Creek-to-Summit project will benefit residents and businesses in north central Kansas and the broader region by reducing congestion across the transmission network and improving the reliability and efficiency of the grid," said Kristine Schmidt, president, ITC Great Plains. "This project reinforces ITC's long-term commitment to helping Kansas secure its energy future. It also demonstrates that our partnership approach to transmission development provides exceptional value to utilities and their members in the regions they serve."
The 60-mile, 345-kV transmission line will connect the ITC Great Plains Elm Creek Substation, approximately four miles northwest of Aurora, to Westar Energy's Summit Substation, located about five miles northeast of Assaria. ITC Great Plains, in partnership with Mid-Kansas, will construct the northern half of the line in Cloud and Ottawa counties and co-own and operate this section of the line with Mid-Kansas. Westar Energy will build, own and operate the southern half of the line. The project also will involve upgrades at both substations.
"As a cooperatively operated company, Mid-Kansas continues to seek ways to serve our six member-owners that provide electricity to approximately 200,000 people in central and western Kansas," said Stuart Lowry, president and CEO of Mid-Kansas. "Through our partnership with ITC, the Elm Creek-to-Summit project will benefit our members and the region improving transmission reliability and facilitating the regional energy market."
In December 2012 following a routing study, ITC, Mid-Kansas and Westar presented several route alternatives to potentially affected landowners during community open house events in each county along the route. Input from landowners was analyzed, and certain route adjustments where feasible were made. ITC Great Plains and Mid-Kansas filed a route application with the KCC on May 3, 2013.
Right-of-way acquisition and engineering design are tentatively scheduled for 2013-2015, followed by construction in 2015 and 2016. The line will be energized shortly thereafter.