ITC Holdings Corp. has announced the ITC Great Plains Expansion Project. The plan was developed through more than a year of extensive study of regional needs. It identifies and proposes a package of high-voltage electric transmission projects designed to relieve system constraints impeding the export of excess energy capacity inter-regionally. The five projects involve seven states and more than 2,700 miles of new transmission line. This AC-based approach reflects the interconnectivity of the power grid and provides a solution to integrate a variety of energy sources, enhance overall grid reliability and provide flexibility and optionality throughout the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) regional transmission organization footprint.
"This proposal offers an inter-regional planning perspective that is generation-neutral and works within the regional planning process to produce optimal grid performance," said Joseph L. Welch, ITC chairman, president and chief executive officer. "These projects will draw upon ITC's track record as a best-in-class independent transmission developer and operator, as evidenced by the success of our existing projects and partnerships with local utilities in the Great Plains region."
Kansas State Representative Carl Holmes, Chairman of the Kansas Legislature House Energy and Utilities Committee, welcomed the plan. "Kansas understands that new electric transmission development is necessary to carry the growing renewable energy capacity in the state to where it's needed. I applaud ITC Great Plains and its comprehensive approach to planning these projects – and their involvement with the state, KETA and the local communities to drive these investments that contribute to our state's economic success," said Rep. Holmes.
Stuart Lowry, president and CEO, Sunflower Electric Power Corp., commented, "ITC has taken an important next step in the SPP regional planning process, one that will upgrade and integrate with the existing SPP AC infrastructure and improve overall regional export and import capability. Working with ITC, with whom we have a strong and valued relationship, and other entities within the region, will enable the development of projects to better serve our members and customers in central and western Kansas and the entire SPP region."
About the ITC Great Plains Expansion Project
Developed by ITC Great Plains, LLC, a subsidiary of ITC Grid Development, the ITC Great Plains Expansion Project proposal involves five primary 345 kV AC transmission lines consisting of multiple west-to-east segments originating in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, and terminating in Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas. The project plan aligns with one or more of the ITP20 Planning Futures for which SPP (Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization) recently issued a request for projects. ITC Great Plains submitted this proposal into the SPP ITP20 planning process and SPP will enter the draft project portfolio into its ongoing planning analysis and stakeholder review process. ITC Great Plains will work with SPP and other stakeholders in the SPP Integrated Transmission Planning (ITP) process, and other associated planning processes, to highlight the benefits for customers associated with these projects.
The ITC Great Plains Expansion Project provides a framework for relieving constraints in the underlying system for exporting energy from the western part of SPP to load centers east of the SPP footprint. The proposed transmission lines follow these general routes:
- East-central Nebraska to north-central Iowa
- Western Kansas to southern Iowa
- Southwest Kansas to south-central Missouri
- Western Oklahoma to south-central Missouri
- Eastern Texas across southern Oklahoma to southwest Arkansas
Current ITC Great Plains projects and partnership successes:
- Spearville, Kansas to Axtell, Nebraska: In June 2012, ITC completed the first phase of the 225-mile 345 kV transmission line conceived and sponsored by the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority (KETA), built in conjunction with Nebraska Public Power District and in partnership with Sunflower Electric Power Corporation and Midwest Energy, Inc. The second phase is expected to be in service by the end of this year.
- Kansas V-Plan: ITC is constructing approximately 120 miles in a 200-mile, 345 kV transmission line linking Spearville to Wichita in partnership with Sunflower Electric Power Corporation and Mid-Kansas Electric Company. The project is projected to be in service by late 2014.
- Hugo to Valliant, Oklahoma: In partnership with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, ITC put into service its first Oklahoma project in June 2012 with the completion of an 18-mile, 345 kV transmission line and substation in the southeastern part of the state.