The Spearville-Axtell line, also known as the KETA Project, is a 345,000 volt (345kV) transmission line that will improve the reliability and efficiency of the regional grid and make more affordable energy available. The line will run approximately 225 miles from Spearville north to the Post Rock (formerly Knoll) substation near Hays, then on across the Nebraska border to Axtell. It will be built in three segments: Spearville to Hays; Hays to the Kansas-Nebraska border; and from the Kansas-Nebraska border to Axtell. ITC will build the first two segments, Spearville to Hays and Hays to the Nebraska border. The Nebraska Public Power District is responsible for building the third segment, from the Kansas-Nebraska border to Axtell. The project was completed in 2012.
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WHY IS THIS LINE NEEDED?
The Kansas Electric Transmission Authority (KETA) identified the Spearville-Axtell transmission line as a project that will bring significant economic and reliability benefits to Kansas and the regional grid. The line will provide access to more reliable, efficient and affordable electricity in Kansas and the Midwest. It also will ease congestion across the transmission network, addressing the lack of high-voltage transmission lines in central and western Kansas which causes inefficiencies in the grid and does not allow power to flow in the most efficient manner.
WHAT WILL THE LINE LOOK LIKE?
The Spearville-Axtell line is expected to be built primarily with single tubular-steel poles in order minimize the impact on land use. The height of the structures will vary based on terrain, clearances to the ground, objects under the line and structure spacing, but will typically range between 100 and 150 feet. The span lengths between structures will be approximately 700 to 1,100 feet, with an average span of 900 feet. Structure placement and span lengths can be adjusted in cultivated fields to minimize interference with the operation of center-pivot irrigation systems.
HOW LONG WILL THIS PROCESS TAKE?
The official in-service date is June 1, 2013, but ITC is coordinating with Nebraska Public Power District to energize the entire line by December 2012. The Kansas Corporation Commission approved ITC Great Plains’ siting application for Phase I, from Spearville to Hays, in July 2009. Phase I construction began in November 2010. Phase I is projected to enter service in June 2012. ITC received route approval for Phase II, from Hays to the Nebraska border, on June 30, 2010. Planning and land acquisition for Phase II is now underway. Construction is expected to start during the third quarter of 2011.
WHO WILL PAY FOR IT?
Construction will be financed by ITC Great Plains. Because the line will benefit the entire region in terms of improved reliability, increased efficiency and lower costs, the revenue requirements will be recovered from all customers in the Southwest Power Pool region, which includes Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
HOW MANY JOBS WILL THIS PROJECT CREATE?
The number of jobs related to this project is not certain at this stage. More important is the overall economic impact of the project to Kansas, including a more consistent and affordable energy supply that will help attract new businesses, jobs and investment to the region and help existing businesses grow.
HOW DOES ITC GREAT PLAINS WORK WITH LANDOWNERS?
ITC Great Plains is committed to open, honest and frequent communications with landowners. We conduct discussions with landowners who have property on the proposed line route to obtain the easements necessary to build the line. We will work respectfully with landowners throughout the siting, design, and construction process to minimize impacts to their properties. We fully expect to reach mutually beneficial negotiated agreements with them.