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Transmission line to improve customer reliability

Project is part of larger plan modernizing city’s electrical grid; work begins today

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TOPEKA, Kan., March 3, 2014 — Topekans may notice work preparing the way for a new transmission line in southwest Topeka beginning today. The project is among 15 totaling more than $150 million in investment aimed at modernizing the capital city’s power grid and improving reliability and security for our customers.

Vegetation crews will begin working to clear a path for construction to begin for the line connecting the substation at S.W. 17th and Fairlawn with the Education Substation at Kanza Education and Science Park near S.W. 6th and MacVicar. The line will exit Westar’s new Education Station Substation at Kanza Education and Science Park heading west just south of Interstate 70 to Gage Blvd. It will then follow along Gage to S.W. 6th Street, then along S.W. 6th to S.W. Fairlawn Road, at which point it will follow Fairlawn to the existing substation at S.W. 17th and Fairlawn.

This is the most substantial investment in the city’s electrical infrastructure in 30 years. The city has seen significant growth and customers’ needs regarding electricity have changed significantly since then. In addition to making service more reliable for customers, the project will allow five smaller substations built in the 1950s to be decommissioned.

Landowners along the route have been notified of the work to be completed on their property. Planning for the line was announced in the fall of 2012. The route for the line was announced in April 2013. 

To minimize traffic disruption for our customers, Westar will begin construction this summer and work to complete the project by the end of the year.

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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 7,200 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 WestarEnergy.com. Westar Energy is on Facebook: Facebook.com/YourWestar and Twitter:Twitter.com/WestarEnergy.

Media Contact:
Gina Penzig
Director, corporate communications
Phone: 785.575.8089
Gina.Penzig@westarenergy.com
Media line: 888.613.0003

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