TOPEKA, Kan., July 27, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Reliable, renewable electricity in Kansas is now a step closer to reality thanks to a recent state decision that clears the way for ITC Great Plains, LLC to continue pursuing construction, ownership and operation of the extra-high voltage V-Plan transmission project.
The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) ruled July 24 that ITC Great Plains can construct and own two sections of this important 765 kilovolt (kV) project. The KCC ruling also gave approval to Prairie Wind Transmission, LLC, to construct and own a third section of this 180-mile-long line.
ITC Great Plains, in collaboration with Sunflower Electric Power Corporation and Mid-Kansas Electric Company, will now seek other regulatory approvals required to move the project forward, including project evaluation and cost allocation resolution by the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) regional planning authority and siting permission from the KCC.
The V-Plan is the largest electric infrastructure investment proposed in Kansas in nearly 25 years. It will run from Spearville to a termination point outside of Wichita, Kan., and connect with another line running into Oklahoma.
In addition to improving electric reliability and facilitating wind energy in Kansas, the V-Plan will establish a critical east-west transmission corridor across the state. ITC Great Plains estimates it will invest approximately $400 million to construct its portions of the project at 765 kV.
"ITC is pleased by the KCC's decision and the obvious importance the Commission and Commission staff have placed on this project," said Carl Huslig, president, ITC Great Plains. "We believe a collaborative approach to the development and construction of the Kansas V-Plan is the best way to expeditiously further the state's energy and infrastructure objectives."
The KCC's July 24 decision accepted a Stipulation and Agreement (S&A) reached between ITC Great Plains and Prairie Wind that set forth which sections of the line each company would construct and own.
Under the terms of the S&A, ITC Great Plains will construct and own segments of the line running from Spearville to Comanche County, Kan., and from Comanche County to Medicine Lodge, Kan. ITC Great Plains will also construct and own new substations in Comanche County, Spearville and Medicine Lodge, Kan.
Prairie Wind will construct a substation at Medicine Lodge and a third section of line from that substation to a termination point outside of Wichita. Prairie Wind also would be certificated to construct a line from the Kansas V-Plan to the Oklahoma border. The settlement agreement addresses only facilities proposed to be constructed in Kansas.
"The V-Plan is a critical project in Kansas and we are pleased to be cleared to begin the next steps in the process of getting this line constructed," said Huslig. "The entire country is grappling with how to address pressing energy challenges and, thanks to the leadership of the KCC, Kansas is now uniquely positioned to move forward in addressing its own."
About ITC Holdings Corp.
ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) invests in the electricity transmission grid to improve electric reliability, improve access to markets, and lower the overall cost of delivered energy. ITC is the largest independent electricity transmission company in the country. Through its subsidiaries, ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC) and ITC Midwest LLC, ITC operates regulated, high-voltage transmission systems in Michigan's Lower Peninsula and portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri serving a combined peak load in excess of 25,000 megawatts. ITC is also focused on new areas where significant transmission system improvements are needed through subsidiaries ITC Grid Development, ITC Great Plains and ITC Panhandle Transmission. For more information, please visit: http://www.itc-holdings.com. (itc-ITC)
About ITC Great Plains, LLC
ITC Great Plains was formed in July 2006 as a subsidiary of ITC Grid Development, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp. ITC Great Plains is a transmission-only utility which seeks to build a more robust electric transmission system so that every electric customer in SPP will have access to reliable, non-discriminatory, competitive and low-cost energy. ITC Great Plains was granted transmission-only utility status in Kansas and has a utility status application pending in Oklahoma which provides the ability for ITC Great Plains to own and operate a fully-regulated, high-voltage transmission system that transmits electricity to local electricity distribution facilities from generating stations throughout the SPP region. ITC Great Plains is committed to working with all stakeholders to identify and solve transmission issues throughout SPP.
SOURCE ITC Holdings Corp.
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