ITC Great Plains to build new line between Spearville and Hays
Topeka, Kansas – The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) today approved ITC Great Plains’ (ITC) application for a permit to construct a 345 kV transmission line extending 89 miles between Spearville and Hays (order attached). “After careful review and consideration of the evidentiary record, public comments, and policies benefiting the general public, the Commission grants this application for a siting permit,” the order read.
In issuing a siting permit, the Commission must determine the necessity for and the reasonableness of the location of the proposed transmission line. “The Commission finds the electric transmission line proposed in ITC Great Plains’ application is necessary and is reasonable with inclusion of the eastern alternative route,” the order read. The Commission adopted ITC’s recommendation that the preferred route be modified to avoid close proximity of the line to residences.
The Commission determined that the building of the new transmission line would increase access to substantial wind generation resources, reduce congestion in the region, allow system resources to be used more efficiently, and facilitate the regional transfer of power. “We believe that the building of this new line will provide significant economic benefits in Kansas and throughout the region,” said KCC Chairman, Thomas Wright. “Importantly, it will also aid in the future development of wind farms in Western Kansas, a key industry in the state.”
This is the first phase of a project to build a transmission line between Spearville, Kansas and Axtell, Nebraska. The project has been endorsed by the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority (KETA) and approved by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The Commission’s approval is conditioned on ITC receiving appropriate authorization to construct from SPP.
ITC estimates the cost of Phase I of the project to be $90 million. When the entire project is complete, SPP estimates the average retail customer in the region will experience a decrease of approximately 78-cents per month due to cost savings. On a proportional basis, Phase I will contribute about 9-cents per month to the total cost savings.