ITC Great Plains, LLC has completed the purchase of two electric transmission substations to help Kansas address long-term energy challenges. ITC Great Plains has acquired and will now operate the 138-kV Flat Ridge Substation located in Barber County, Kansas, near the Flat Ridge Wind Farm development and the 230-kV Elm Creek Substation located in Cloud County, Kansas, near the Meridian Way Wind Farm development. Both substations were purchased from Mid-Kansas Electric Co. LLC.
The acquisition received approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and allows ITC Great Plains to participate in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) as a transmission owner. SPP is the regional transmission organization that oversees the electric transmission grid and wholesale power markets in eight southwestern states, including Kansas.
This acquisition, along with future ITC Great Plains projects, will address significant energy challenges in Kansas, including the lack of transmission capacity between the western and eastern areas of the state and the absence of an energy grid capable of supporting significant development of wind energy.
"This marks a significant milestone in our efforts not only to develop and operate a 21st Century electric grid, but also to help address ongoing energy issues in Kansas," said Carl Huslig, president, ITC Great Plains. "Mid-Kansas has been supportive throughout this process, and we thank the KCC for acting on this matter. ITC Great Plains is well positioned to continue developing transmission solutions for the state that facilitate renewable energy and address current system capacity constraints."
While the Flat Ridge and Elm Creek substations are the first physical system assets owned by ITC in Kansas, the company continues to pursue an ambitious growth strategy to develop significant transmission assets in SPP, including Kansas, for the benefit of the region.
ITC Great Plains has secured a number of significant industry milestones during the past six months in connection with its Kansas operations. In March, ITC Great Plains received a favorable order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that approved certain incentives for ITC Great Plains' two principal Kansas projects, the V-Plan and the KETA Project, as well as a rate tariff and other incentives for all transmission assets owned or built by ITC Great Plains in SPP.
In June, the company signed an agreement to resolve pending regulatory proceedings regarding who should be authorized to build the 180-mile V-Plan, which will be the first 765-kilovolt transmission line constructed west of the Mississippi River and will serve as a link between western and eastern Kansas and allow power to be exported out of state. The agreement has been approved by the KCC.
In July, ITC Great Plains received approval from the KCC on the proposed route for phase one of the KETA line, running from Spearville, Kan., to a substation near Hays, Kan. ITC Great Plains has also begun work on phase two of the KETA line. In its entirety, the KETA project is a 215-mile 345-kilovolt line running from Spearville and interconnecting at Axtell, Neb.