The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), in a May 23 order, granted an application filed by Mid-Kansas Electric Company, and issued to Mid-Kansas a certificate of convenience and authority for transmission rights only in relation to a new 138-kV transmission line.
As noted in the order, Mid-Kansas on April 5 filed the application requesting a certificate for transmission rights only along the route of the new line, which is proposed to be built in Kingman, Harper, and Sumner counties.
The KCC said that the proposed line is about 75 miles long, and that Mid-Kansas contends transmission rights are necessary because the route of the line is proposed to be built in areas certificated to Wheatland Electric Cooperative Inc., Ninnescah Rural Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc., the City of Anthony, Kan., and Sumner-Cowley Electric Cooperative, Inc. Consequently, Mid-Kansas requests a certificate for transmission rights only to transact the business of an electric public utility within a certain territory, the KCC said.
The KCC noted that the Retail Electric Suppliers Act (RESA) requires the state to be divided into electric service territories in which only one retail electric supplier is established for a given territory. If a retail electric supplier receives KCC approval, then RESA allows it to extend distribution or transmission facilities through the territory of another supplier provided the supplier building through the territory only uses the proposed line to serve its own certificated customers, the KCC said.
The KCC further noted that its staff on May 17 submitted a report and recommendation, recommending that the KCC grant Mid-Kansas’ application and issue the company the certificate.
According to staff’s report, the new line is being built to interconnect a new substation near Rago, Kan., to the existing Viola substation.
The Harper to Milan 138-kV Project originated from a High Priority Incremental Load Study (HPILS) that was conducted by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) in May 2014, staff said, noting that the HPILS is a specialized study within SPP that was created to meet the growing demand for otherwise unserved loads primarily related to oil and gas development activity in southern Harper and Sumner counties.
That is an area being served by long radial stretches of sub-transmission at the 34.5-kV voltage level that has very limited capacity in that area, staff said.
Based on the results of the HPILS, SPP identified the need for several transmission projects and issued multiple Notice to Construct (NTC), including another project south of Harper, staff said.
In addition to the ongoing needs identified in the SPP study, the current version of the project serves other benefits for the area, including reducing costs by eliminating future transmission reliability projects east of Harper to Clearwater, as well as providing a more robust transmission solution for the area with an interconnection to a Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) 345-kV transmission line, staff said.