Prairie Wind transmission’s high-capacity transmission line completed ahead of schedule, more than $60 million under budget
New double-circuit transmission line the first of its kind in Kansas.
TOPEKA, Kan., Oct. 30, 2014 — 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 on Thursday, Oct. 30. 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. “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.
During Thursday’s celebration, Carl Holmes, former member of the Kansas House of Representatives and chairman of the House Energy and Utilities Committee, was honored for his support in the project. Holmes was awarded a plaque for his work championing legislation that promoted electrical transmission development in Kansas.
“This transmission line will provide generations of Kansans with access to efficient, clean and reliable electricity,” Harrison said. “But it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and support of Carl Holmes.”
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.
For more information about Prairie Wind Transmission, visit www.prairiewindtransmission.com.
- 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 7,100 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. Westar Energy is on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/WestarEnergyInc and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/WestarEnergy.
Electric Transmission America is a joint venture between subsidiaries of American Electric Power and Berkshire Hathaway Energy to build and own electric transmission assets. The joint venture is a 50-50 partnership to identify and invest in high-voltage transmission projects (345-kilovolt or higher) located in North America outside of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The two companies have an existing joint venture agreement to build transmission in ERCOT. AEP, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company (www.midamerican.com), based in Des Moines, Iowa, is a global provider of energy services to more than 6.9 million customers worldwide. AEP (www.aep.com) has extensive experience building extra-high-voltage 765-kV transmission lines and owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes 2,100 miles of 765-kV transmission lines, more than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. MidAmerican is among the largest transmission owners in the country. For more information, visit http://www.electrictransmissionamerica.com/.
Director, corporate communications
Westar Energy media information line: