TOPEKA, Kan., July 15, 2013 – ITC Great Plains, LLC , a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the nation’s largest independent electric transmission company, today announced plans to establish a regional business development and operations office in Oklahoma City. ITC Great Plains President Kristine Schmidt will oversee the Oklahoma City regional office while maintaining her presence at the company’s regional office in Topeka, Kansas. ITC Great Plains will begin adding personnel in Oklahoma City later this month.
“The increasing pace of energy development in Oklahoma and the south central region is placing greater and greater demands on the high-voltage grid,” Schmidt noted. “ITC’s investment in new high-voltage infrastructure in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) region, which includes Oklahoma, is founded upon open access to a robust and reliable grid and collaboration with key energy stakeholders. Our expanded presence in Oklahoma City will allow us to play a more prominent role in developing a modern grid to support the state’s growing economy while positioning the state to be a major intersection on the emerging national grid superhighway.”
Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Dave Lopez views ITC’s expansion as a reflection of the positive environment for energy development in Oklahoma. “We welcome the decision by ITC to invest in Oklahoma’s growing energy economy by establishing a business development and operations office in our state,” said Lopez. “ITC’s decision to create a presence in Oklahoma further validates the opportunities for energy companies to do business in Oklahoma and from Oklahoma.”
Office space has been secured in Oklahoma City, with the build-out underway and occupancy planned for later this year. Temporary space will be utilized in the interim. The Oklahoma City office will be the third regional location for ITC Great Plains, joining Topeka and Dodge City, Kansas.
ITC Great Plains has operated in Oklahoma since September 2008 when it earned approval as a transmission-only public utility. The company’s first completed transmission project in Oklahoma, the 18-mile Hugo-Valliant transmission line and substation, was placed in service in July 2012. The project was a result of a collaboration with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC). It is part of a larger transmission line project implemented to reduce system congestion, provide more efficient and cost-effective transmission of energy and increase access to a broader range of generation resources for Oklahoma and the SPP region.
Deputy Secretary of Energy Jay Albert commended ITC for its collaborative approach on the Hugo-Valliant project. “Transmission is an important focus in our Oklahoma First Energy Plan. ITC’s successful project with Western Farmers in Southeastern Oklahoma confirmed its ability to collaborate with Oklahoma entities in deploying innovative approaches that help ensure sufficient electric transmission infrastructure is in place to optimize our power generation assets and modernize the grid.”
ITC Great Plains is focused on developing the transmission grid in the Southwest Power Pool states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, the Texas Panhandle and Arkansas.