ITC Great Plains, LLC, in conjunction with Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Midwest Energy, Inc., has placed Phase II of the KETA (Spearville-Axtell) high-voltage electric transmission project into service, marking completion of the project. The 227-mile, 345,000-V line from Spearville, Kansas, to Axtell, Nebraska, will improve the reliability and efficiency of the regional grid and make more affordable energy available. It entered service nearly six months ahead of the original schedule, enabling Kansans to realize the benefits of the project earlier than anticipated and at a cost well below the original estimate.
"Completion of the KETA project clearly demonstrates ITC's long-term commitment to helping Kansas secure its energy future," said Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC Holdings Corp. "It reinforces the unique value of ITC's independent business model and is strong evidence that our partnership approach to transmission development provides exceptional value to utilities and their members along with the regions they serve. Projects such as KETA contribute to congestion relief, nondiscriminatory access to all generating resources and the much-needed development of a regional infrastructure to support a robust twenty‐first century grid."
ITC's investment in a new high-voltage infrastructure in the Southwest Power Pool region is founded upon open access to the grid and collaboration with key energy stakeholders. The partnerships with Sunflower and Midwest Energy were crucial to the development and completion of the KETA project. Earlier this year ITC, Sunflower and Mid-Kansas Electric Company expanded their partnership agreement for the development of additional transmission projects in Kansas.
"As the demand to export and import both base load and renewable energy continues to increase, state-of-the-art transmission lines like the KETA project are critical to the continued delivery of reliable, affordable energy in our region and across the nation," said Stuart Lowry, president and CEO of Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Mid-Kansas Electric Company. "We have enjoyed working with Kansas officials, ITC and Midwest Energy on this project, and it is gratifying to see the vision and hard work of so many people come to fruition."
"The completion of this project will benefit Midwest Energy's customer-owners and spur economic development in the communities we serve," said Earnie Lehman, President and General Manager of Midwest Energy, Inc. "We appreciate the leadership shown by ITC in fulfilling the vision of the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority (KETA), which first conceived this project."