U.S. utilities complete Prairie Wind transmission line

TOPEKA, Kansas - TOPEKA, Kansas — Prairie Wind Transmission, LLC PWT, a joint venture between Westar Energy and Electric Transmission America, celebrated completion of its 108-mile, 345-kilovolt high-capacity electrical transmission line in south-central Kansas with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the end of October.

The double-circuit line will serve as an electric energy super highway between eastern and western Kansas, promoting growth of renewable energy in Kansas, providing greater access to lower-cost electricity and improved reliability in the region.

“This is an exciting day as we celebrate the first transmission line of this magnitude in our state. Thanks to excellent project management, not only did we complete the project several months ahead of schedule, the total cost was about $63 million less than expected,” said Kelly Harrison, president, PWT and Westar’s vice president of transmission.

Harrison continues: “We formed meaningful partnerships with our neighbors while constructing this line – working closely with landowners, communities, government leaders and environmental organizations to determine the best possible route. This line is a testament to the Kansas spirit and how when we work together, we can make great things happen.”

Westar Energy managed the planning and construction of the line. Line construction was complete three months ahead of the Dec. 31, 2014 deadline. The final cost of the line will be about $161.5 million, 30 percent less than the initial estimate of $225 million.

“This transmission line will provide generations of Kansans with access to efficient, clean and reliable electricity,” Harrison said.

The Wichita to Woodward line, part of the broader “Y Plan,” links Westar Energy’s Wichita Substation near Gordon Evans Energy Center to the Thistle Substation near Medicine Lodge, and on to the Kansas/Oklahoma border, where it will connect to a line being constructed by Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company. ITC Great Plains will construct the line from Medicine Lodge to a Clark County substation and then to Spearville.


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