As a fellow Kansan, it brings me great personal pleasure to see ITC Great Plains take its first step toward delivering its vision of increased efficiency and reliability to the state's energy grid. I applaud the Kansas leaders at the state and federal levels who recognized early on the need to invest in transmission in order to provide access to more diverse sources of generation and allow the state to once again become a net exporter of energy.
A 21st-century high-voltage infrastructure will give Kansas a more consistent and affordable energy supply. This will allow existing businesses to grow and attract new jobs and investment to the region.
It has been ITC Great Plains' goal from the beginning to facilitate a competitive marketplace, deliver energy efficiently and improve customer value by investing in the transmission infrastructure. As the only independent electric transmission company in Kansas, we focus exclusively on improving the efficiency and reliability of the power grid. We are a unique player because we are generation- and technology-neutral. That means we connect the grid to all forms of generation, from coal plants to wind farms, on a nondiscriminatory basis.
But we can't do it alone. A grid upgrade requires a collaborative approach. ITC serves as a partner to local utilities and energy developers as we develop transmission projects that will benefit the state and the regional grid. ITC is already working with Kansas utilities in collaborative efforts to develop two major transmission projects.
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The first is the KETA project, a 345,000-volt transmission line running from Spearville, Kan., to Axtell, Neb. This project highlights the importance of a partnership approach, as it would not be possible without the support of Gov. Mark Parkinson, the Kansas Legislature, the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority and our utility partners, Midwest Energy and Sunflower Electric Power Corp.
Construction for phase one of the KETA project, from Spearville to Hays, is already under way. Phase two, from Hays to the Kansas-Nebraska border, will follow. The entire line is projected to enter service in mid-2013.
Our second major transmission project in Kansas is called the V-Plan. This 345,000-volt line from Spearville to Wichita is designed to connect eastern and western Kansas, boosting reliability and enabling new and existing energy developers to tap into the grid. The V-Plan will be built in collaboration with Sunflower Electric Power Corp., Mid-Kansas Electric Co. and Prairie Wind Transmission. It is projected to go into service by the end of 2014.
ITC is proud to be a permanent utility partner in Kansas. We look forward to bringing our transmission expertise and operational excellence to building these important projects. We believe they will help open the doors for the development of renewable energy resources, bringing more capital investment and jobs to the state.
Together — ITC Great Plains, the state of Kansas, our utility partners and Kansas citizens — we are building a brighter future for Kansas.