|Westar Energy, Inc. receives approval of transmission route|
Line will strengthen grid, boost reliability in central Kansas.
Topeka, Kan., Aug. 29, 2013 - Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) today received route approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission for a transmission project that will improve electric reliability and efficiency in central Kansas and ensure electricity is available to support economic growth in the area.
"This line will allow for the expansion of industrial, commercial and residential loads in the Cloud County area by alleviating a constraint created by the possibility of a failure of the present line," Lowell Thoman, President, Cloud Corp, said in a letter to Westar.
When complete in late 2016, the high-voltage 345-kilovolt transmission line will connect Westar Energy's Summit Substation, about 5 miles northeast of Assaria to the Elm Creek substation, about 4 miles northwest of Aurora. Westar Energy will construct and own the southern half of the line. ITC Great Plains, in partnership with Mid-Kansas, will construct the northern half of the line in Cloud and Ottawa counties and co-own and operate this section of the line with Mid-Kansas.
Westar proposed a route for the line after conducting an engineering study and meeting with area landowners to discuss potential line routes. During its review of Westar's filing, the KCC and Westar considered route modifications proposed by affected landowners. Some of those suggestions are reflected in the KCC approved route.
"We work closely with landowners, communities and governmental agencies in routing transmission projects that will serve customers for decades to come," Kelly Harrison, vice president, transmission, said. "Since about 2008, Westar has invested more than $1 billion in strengthening the Kansas transmission system. During construction, projects bring jobs to the area economy, and once completed the lines improve the availability and reliability of electricity."
Westar's costs for this project, which includes improvements to the Summit substation, are estimated at $66 million. The transmission line will benefit the regional electrical grid governed by the Southwest Power Pool, which spans nine states. The project costs will be recovered from customers throughout SPP.
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 http://www.WestarEnergy.com. Westar Energy is on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/WestarEnergyInc and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/WestarEnergy.
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