ITC Great Plains completes, will begin testing 345-kV line in Oklahoma

ITC Great Plains is preparing to do final testing of the recently completed Hugo-to-Valliant line in southeast Oklahoma and expects to energize the 18-mi, 345-kV line around the first of June.

The project was completed “on time and several million dollars under budget,” Carl Huslig, executive director of ITC grid development told TransmissionHub on March 30.

Projects being constructed by three other utilities must also be finished before the line can be energized. Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) is targeting mid-May for completion of the 130-mi, 345-kV Hugo-to-Sunnyside line, which will tie in to the new ITC Hugo substation in what Huslig described as a two-phase project.

“Hugo-to-Valliant is the east side; Hugo-to-Sunnyside is the west side, and they both have to be done at the same time” to bring maximum value to the area, he said.

In addition, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative is connecting its system to the 138-kV side of a step-down transformer at ITC’s Hugo substation, and Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) is completing the installation of 345-kV circuit breakers needed to connect ITC’s line at PSO’s Valliant substation.

As those projects are being completed, ITC will begin preliminary testing of its line.

The lack of high-voltage electrical transmission in southeastern Oklahoma is currently causing grid congestion and does not allow power to flow in the most efficient manner, Huslig said. The lines and new substation will help reduce transmission system congestion, provide more efficient and cost-effective transmission of energy and give the area about 160 miles south of Tulsa, Okla., increased access to a broader range of energy resources.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) in 2009 identified the Hugo-to-Valliant transmission line as a project that would ease congestion across the transmission network and bring significant economic and reliability benefits to Oklahoma and the regional grid.

OG&E is the regulated electric utility of OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE).  PSO is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).