Prairie Wind Transmission, a transmission joint venture that includes American Electric Power (AEP), MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. and Westar Energy, has started construction of 108 miles of new double-circuit, 345 kV transmission lines in south central Kansas.
According to AEP, the $180 million Prairie Wind Transmission project will stretch from Colwich, Kan., southwest to a new substation at Medicine Lodge, Kan., and then south to Hardtner, Kan., at the Kansas-Oklahoma border.
When completed in late 2014, AEP says, the project will be the first high-voltage transmission line linking eastern and western Kansas and will significantly reduce transmission congestion, improve reliability and support the growth of wind energy in the region.
The Kansas Corporation Commission approved the route for the Prairie Wind Transmission project in June 2011. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously approved Prairie Wind Transmission's request for key rate components for the project in December 2008, including a 12.8% return on equity, AEP notes.