Westar receives approval from power pool for high voltage transmission project

Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:13pm EDT

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Investment will strengthen state and regional power grid.

TOPEKA, Kan., March 21, 2013 - Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) announced today that the Southwest
Power Pool (SPP) granted its approval for the Elm Creek to Summit transmission project to proceed.
The line will improve electric reliability and efficiency in the region. 

Kelly Harrison, vice president, transmission said, "Ongoing investment in our state and region's
electrical infrastructure not only enhances electric reliability but also provides construction
jobs and supports ongoing economic growth."

Westar Energy will build one-half of a 345-kilovolt transmission line connecting Westar Energy's
Summit Substation, about five miles northeast of Assaria in Saline County, to the Elm Creek
Substation, approximately four miles northwest of Aurora in Cloud County.  Westar Energy will
construct and own the southern half of this line at an expected cost of about $67 million and ITC
Great Plains, in conjunction with Mid Kansas Electric, will construct and own the northern half. 
The project will also involve upgrades at both substations.

A route application will be filed with the Kansas Corporation Commission later this spring. We
expect the KCC to issue a ruling regarding the route later this year.

As part of the SPP planning process, project estimates are refined at multiple steps, each being
confirmed as to the economic benefits of the project. The SPP's approval to proceed acknowledges
the project will benefit customers across the region. The costs for transmission lines of this
voltage are recovered from all customers in the nine state Southwest Power Pool region.

- 30 - 
Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is Kansas' largest electric utility. For more than a century, we
have provided Kansans the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes.
Every day our team of professionals takes on projects to generate and deliver electricity, protect
the environment and provide excellent service to our nearly 700,000 customers. Westar has 7,400 MW
of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind and landfill gas. We
are also a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. Our innovative customer service programs
include mobile-enabled customer care, a smart meter pilot project and paving the way for electric
vehicle adoption. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.WestarEnergy.com
http://www.westarenergy.com/ . Westar Energy is on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/WestarEnergyInc
http://www.facebook.com/WestarEnergyInc  and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/WestarEnergy
http://www.twitter.com/WestarEnergy .
 Forward-looking statements: Certain matters discussed in this news release are "forward-looking
statements." The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 has established that these
statements qualify for safe harbors from liability. Forward-looking statements may include words
like "believe," "anticipate," "target," "expect," "pro forma," "estimate," "intend," "guidance" or
words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements describe future plans, objectives,
expectations or goals. Although Westar Energy believes that its expectations are based on
reasonable assumptions, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. The factors
that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include
those discussed herein as well as (1) those discussed in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K
for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010 (a) under the heading, "Forward-Looking Statements," (b) in ITEM
1. Business, (c) in ITEM 1A. Risk Factors, (d) in ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and (e) in ITEM 8. Financial Statements and
Supplementary Data: Notes 13 and 15; (2) those discussed in the company's Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q filed Aug. 4, 2011 (a) in ITEM 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition
and Results of Operations and (b) in Part 1, Financial Information, ITEM 1. Financial Statements:
Notes 8 and 9; and (3) other factors discussed in the company's filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date such statement was
made, and the company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to
reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement was made.

 Media contact:                       
 Gina Penzig,                         
 director, corporate communications   
 Phone: 785.575.8089                  
Investor contact:                   
 Bruce Burns,                         
 director, investor relations         
 Phone: 785.575.8227                  



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Source: Westar Energy, Inc. via Thomson Reuters ONE