Southwest Power Pool approves Kansas transmission line

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) approved the Elm Creek to Summit transmission line project. The project will improve the reliability of the high-voltage grid in central Kansas.

ITC Great Plains will construct about one-half of the 60-mile, 345-kV transmission line connecting the ITC Great Plains Elm Creek Substation, about four miles northwest of Aurora, to Westar Energy’s Summit Substation, about five miles northeast of Assaria.

ITC Great Plains, in partnership with Mid-Kansas Electric Co. (MKEC), will construct the northern portion of the line and co-own and operate this section of the line with MKEC. Westar Energy will build, own and operate the southern half of the line. The project also will involve upgrades at both substations.

Following a routing study last year, ITC and Westar presented several route alternatives to potentially affected landowners during community open house events held in December 2012 in each county along the route. Each company will file route applications for their portions of the line with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) later this spring for review, with rulings on the routes expected later this year.

Right-of-way acquisition and engineering design are scheduled for 2014-2015, followed by construction in 2015 and 2016. The line will be energized shortly thereafter.

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. In 2012 ITC Great Plains, MKEC and Sunflower Electric Power Corp. expanded their partnership agreement for the development of additional transmission projects in Kansas.

Elm Creek to Summit is the third project ITC Great Plains has developed under its partnership approach with local Kansas utilities.

The 174-mile Spearville-Axtell (KETA) project, which entered service in December 2012, was developed in conjunction with Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Midwest Energy, Inc.

In November 2012, construction began on the 122-mile V-Plan project in southwestern Kansas in partnership with Sunflower and Mid-Kansas Electric.

In October 2012, ITC Great Plains announced the ITC Great Plains Expansion Project, a proposal for a package of five high-voltage transmission lines designed to provide a framework for relieving constraints in the underlying system for exporting energy from the western part of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) to load centers east of the SPP footprint. The plan offers an inter-regional planning perspective that is generation-neutral and works within the regional planning process to produce optimal grid performance. Two of the proposed lines would originate in Kansas.

ITC Great Plains, LLC is a transmission-only utility with authority to construct, own, operate and maintain a regulated, high-voltage transmission system in the Southwest Power Pool region. Based in Topeka, Kansas, ITC Great Plains operates more than 100 circuit miles of transmission lines in Kansas and Oklahoma. ITC Great Plains is a subsidiary of ITC Grid Development, LLC, a unit of ITC Holdings Corp., the nation’s largest independent electric transmission company.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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