NOVI, Mich., July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ITC Great Plains, LLC, in conjunction with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), has placed its Hugo- Valliant high-voltage electric transmission line and substation project into service in southeastern Oklahoma. The 18-mile, 345,000-volt (345 kV) line and 345 kV/138 kV substation were implemented to reduce system congestion, provide more efficient and cost-effective transmission of energy and increase access to a broader range of generation resources. The substation, near WFEC's Hugo power plant, provides a link to the WFEC 138 kV transmission system. "ITC is proud to complete our first Oklahoma transmission project to benefit the state and the region," said Terry S. Harvill, Vice President of ITC Grid Development. "As evidence of our focus on operational excellence, we recently earned federal certification as a Transmission Operator in the Southwest Power Pool region. This allows ITC to operate new projects as they are placed into service. Our ability to develop transmission infrastructure projects and operate them in a manner that complies with stringent federal requirements is a critical aspect of our overall development strategy." 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 partnership with WFEC was crucial to the successful development of the Hugo- Valliant project. "We appreciate the cooperative working relationship that developed between Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and ITC over the course of the Hugo- Valliant project," Harvill noted. "It reinforces the value of our partnership approach in the SPP region." "Completion of the ITC 345 kV project should reduce transmission congestion, improve reliability and reinforce long-term economics of the Hugo Plant," said Gary Roulet, CEO of WFEC. "Access to regional generation resources should positively benefit consumer electric bills." Harvill added that ITC is very pleased with the progress the company has made with its development projects and is excited to see its first projects in this region go into service for the benefit of customers in the SPP region.