* ITC spent about $160 million to build power line
* Line developed in partnership with Kansas power cos
* ITC works on other power lines in Kansas
By Scott DiSavino
Dec 14 U.S. power transmission company ITC
Holdings Corp said its ITC Great Plains unit completed
the second phase of a 227-mile power line in Kansas ahead of
schedule and under budget.
Early cost estimates for the 345,000-volt line, which
entered service this week, were about $160 million, ITC
spokesman Joe Kirik told Reuters Friday.
The project, known as the Spearville-Axtell or KETA (Kansas
Electric Transmission Authority) line, was originally expected
to cost about $200 million and enter service in June 2013.
ITC said KETA will improve the reliability and efficiency of
the regional Southwest Power Pool (SPP) grid and make more
affordable energy, including renewable wind power, available to
more consumers. The power line runs north-south from Spearville,
Kansas to Axtell, Nebraska.
ITC partnered with Kansas power companies Sunflower Electric
Power Corp and Midwest Energy Inc to develop the second phase of
the KETA project.
ITC owns and operates the line and has contracted with the
local power companies to maintain it, Kirik said.
The KETA project "is strong evidence that our partnership
approach to transmission development provides exceptional value
to utilities and their members along with the regions they
serve," ITC CEO Joseph Welch said in a statement.
"Projects such as KETA contribute to congestion relief,
nondiscriminatory access to all generating resources and the
much-needed development of a regional infrastructure to support
a robust 21st century grid," he said.
ITC built the Kansas segments of the line totaling 174
miles. Nebraska power company Nebraska Public Power District
(NPPD) is responsible for the 53-mile Nebraska portion of the
Phase I of the project, from Spearville to Post Rock,
Kansas, entered service in June 2012. ITC started work on the
KETA project in October 2010.
OTHER KANSAS PROJECTS
Elsewhere in Kansas, ITC said it started working on the $300
million V-Plan project a month ago. The V-Plan is a 122-mile
line from Spearville (the southern terminus of the KETA project)
south to Clark County, Kansas, and then east to Medicine Lodge,
The V-Plan is shorter than the KETA project but more
expensive because V-Plan is a double circuit 345-kilovolt
project while KETA is a single circuit. The V-Plan also has two
substations where KETA has only one.
ITC is building the V-Plan in coordination with Sunflower
and Mid-Kansas Electric Co.
ITC is also working on a 60-mile line in north central
Kansas called Elm Creek-Summit with Kansas power company Westar
Energy Inc. ITC said it was building 30 miles and Westar
was building 30 miles.
ITC shares were up .05 percent at $78.13 in midday trading
on the New York Stock Exchange.