Mid-Kansas Electric Company in late June said that it placed in service on May 25 the $65m, 138-kV Harper-to-Milan Transmission Project, which is located in Kingman, Harper, and Sumner counties.
The project includes 58.9 miles of new line from Harper to Milan; 12.6 miles of new line from Harper to Rago; 5.8 miles of rebuilt line between Milan and the Viola tie; and the new connection to Westar’s Viola substation, Mid-Kansas said.
The project also includes the new Bluff Creek substation, as well as modifications to the Harper and Milan substations, Mid-Kansas said, adding that public meetings to determine the route were held in 2015, with the final route determined in early 2016.
The project is designed to enhance electric reliability and support economic development in the area, Mid-Kansas said. The Southwest Power Pool identified a need for the project to support growing demands on the transmission grid, both locally and regionally, according to Mid-Kansas.
Mid-Kansas provides wholesale generation and transmission services to its six member-owners, including Wheatland Electric Cooperative Inc., the electric distribution cooperative that serves the area, according to the statement.
“When Wheatland acquired this service territory in 2007, we quickly learned that additional infrastructure was needed to better serve our members,” Wheatland CEO Bruce Mueller said in the statement. “This large project not only improves electric service to our current members, but it is also robust enough to handle considerable future growth of industry in our south central service territory.
Mid-Kansas President and CEO Stuart Lowry said in the statement, in part, “The new line provides a large conductor, looped transmission configuration to the region that provides greater capability and improved reliability to this part of the service territory.”
Mid-Kansas noted that POWER Engineers Inc., provided such technical services as routing, siting and permitting support, as well as engineering for the transmission lines and substations. POWER also provided material procurement, construction contracting, and construction management of the project, Mid-Kansas said, adding that as part of POWER’s team, Land Services Inc., performed the right of way acquisition for the project.
According to the project’s June newsletter, the project, “which officially kicked off in the summer of 2015, has been energized on time and on budget. The project is the largest new construction transmission project undertaken by Mid-Kansas to date.”
The newsletter noted that benefits that the project will provide include higher voltage, which will support existing load better than the current 34.5-kV line; a redundant loop with two paths of electricity, which will improve reliability, minimize blinks, and reduce outage time; and a reduction in transmission line energy losses, the costs of which are passed onto regional consumers.