Reliable, renewable electricity in Kansas is now a step closer to reality thanks to a recent state decision that clears the way for ITC Great Plains, LLC (Topeka, Kansas, U.S.) to continue pursuing construction, ownership and operation of the extra-high-voltage V-Plan transmission project.

The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) ruled on July 24 that ITC Great Plains can construct and own two sections of this important 765-kV project. The KCC ruling also gave approval to Prairie Wind Transmission, LLC to construct and own a third section of this 180-mile (290-km)-long line.

ITC Great Plains, in collaboration with Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Mid-Kansas Electric Co., will now seek other regulatory approvals required to move the project forward, including project evaluation and cost-allocation resolution by the Southwest Power Pool regional planning authority and siting permission from the KCC.

The V-Plan is the largest electric infrastructure investment proposed in Kansas in nearly 25 years.

In addition to improving electric reliability and facilitating wind energy in Kansas, the V-Plan will establish a critical east-west transmission corridor across the state. ITC Great Plains estimates it will invest approximately US$400 million to construct its portions of the project at 765 kV.

The KCC's July 24 decision accepted a Stipulation and Agreement (S&A) reached between ITC Great Plains and Prairie Wind that set forth which sections of the line each company would construct and own. Under the terms of the S&A, ITC Great Plains will construct and own segments of the line running from Spearville to Comanche County, Kansas, and from Comanche County to Medicine Lodge, Kansas. ITC Great Plains will also construct and own new substations in Comanche County, Spearville and Medicine Lodge.

Prairie Wind will construct a substation at Medicine Lodge and a third section of line from that substation to a termination point outside of Wichita. Prairie Wind also would be certificated to construct a line from the Kansas V-Plan to the Oklahoma border. The settlement agreement addresses only facilities proposed to be constructed in Kansas.