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78-mile section of Prairie Wind transmission line completed

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, June 5, 2014, at 10:40 a.m.

Prairie Wind Transmission line has completed and energized a 78-mile section of a major new power line between Wichita and Medicine Lodge, according to the company.

The line will meet up with a line being built by another company, ITC Great Plains, from Medicine Lodge west to Spearville, near Dodge City. ITC Great Plains plans to be done late this year.

The joint project is a double-circuit, 345 kilovolt transmission from Wichita to Spearville commonly called the V-plan or Y-plan because of its shape. It was developed to improve reliability in the regional power grid and to increase the grid’s ability to carry wind power from wind farms in western Kansas to points east.

As part of the project, Prairie Wind will also add a section from Medicine Lodge south to the Kansas/Oklahoma border. It is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2014. That will be connected to new lines being built in Oklahoma.

Prairie Wind, a partnership of Westar Energy and Electric Transmission America, said the estimated cost of Prairie Wind’s portion was lowered last fall from $225 million to $170 million.

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