NOVI, Mich., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ITC Great Plains, LLC, in conjunction with Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Midwest Energy, Inc., has placed Phase II of the KETA ( Spearville- Axtell) high-voltage electric transmission project into service, marking completion of the project. The 227-mile, 345,000-volt line from Spearville, Kan., to Axtell, Neb., will improve the reliability and efficiency of the regional grid and make more affordable energy available. It entered service nearly six months ahead of the original schedule, enabling Kansans to realize the benefits of the project earlier than anticipated and at a cost well below the original estimate.
"Completion of the KETA project clearly demonstrates ITC's long-term commitment to helping Kansas secure its energy future," said Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC Holdings Corp. "It reinforces the unique value of ITC's independent business model and is strong evidence that our partnership approach to transmission development provides exceptional value to utilities and their members along with the regions they serve. Projects such as KETA contribute to congestion relief, nondiscriminatory access to all generating resources and the much-needed development of a regional infrastructure to support a robust twenty‐first century grid."
ITC's investment in a new high-voltage infrastructure in the Southwest Power Pool region is founded upon open access to the grid and collaboration with key energy stakeholders. The partnerships with Sunflower and Midwest Energy were crucial to the development and completion of the KETA project. Earlier this year ITC, Sunflower and Mid-Kansas Electric Company expanded their partnership agreement for the development of additional transmission projects in Kansas.
"As the demand to export and import both base load and renewable energy continues to increase, state-of-the-art transmission lines like the KETA project are critical to the continued delivery of reliable, affordable energy in our region and across the nation," said Stuart Lowry, president and CEO of Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Mid-Kansas Electric Company. "We have enjoyed working with Kansas officials, ITC and Midwest Energy on this project, and it is gratifying to see the vision and hard work of so many people come to fruition.""The completion of this project will benefit Midwest Energy's customer-owners and spur economic development in the communities we serve," said Earnie Lehman, President and General Manager of Midwest Energy, Inc. "We appreciate the leadership shown by ITC in fulfilling the vision of the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority (KETA) which first conceived this project." About the KETA ProjectThe Spearville- Axtell line, also known as the KETA Project, is a 345,000 volt (345kV) transmission line aimed at improving the reliability and efficiency of the regional grid and making more affordable energy available. The line runs approximately 227 miles from Spearville north to ITC's Post Rock substation near Hays, continuing north across the Nebraska border to Axtell, Nebraska. ITC Great Plains built the Kansas segments of the line totaling 174 miles. The Nebraska Public Power District is responsible for 53-mile Nebraska portion of the line. Phase I of the project, from Spearville to Post Rock, entered service in June 2012. For more information on the KETA project, go to www.itc-holdings.com/itc-great-plains.html. About ITC Great PlainsITC Great Plains, LLC is a transmission-only utility with authority to construct, own, operate and maintain a regulated, high-voltage transmission system in the Southwest Power Pool region. Based in Topeka, Kansas, ITC Great Plains operates more than 100 circuit miles of transmission lines in Kansas and Oklahoma. ITC Great Plains is a subsidiary of ITC Grid Development, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the nation's largest independent electric transmission company. For more information, please visit www.itctransco.com . About ITC Holdings Corp.ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) is the nation's largest independent electric transmission company. Based in Novi, Michigan, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve reliability, expand access to markets, lower the overall cost of delivered energy and allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems. ITC's regulated operating subsidiaries include ITC Transmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains. Through these subsidiaries, ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along 15,000 circuit miles of transmission line. Through ITC Grid Development and its subsidiaries, the company also focuses on expansion in areas where significant transmission system improvements are needed. For more information, please visit ITC's website at www.itc-holdings.com . (itc-ITC)