The Kansas Corporation Commission, in an Oct. 11 order, issued a certificate of convenience and authority for transmission rights only to Sunflower Electric Power Corporation for the transmission of business as an electric public utility in certain territories, allowing Sunflower to build a new 24-mile electric transmission line.
As noted in the order, Sunflower in August filed an application requesting the certificate to build the new 115-kV line from the Sunflower-owned Santa Fe substation northerly to the new Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc.-owned Charleston substation, and then continuing north to the new Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative, Inc.-owned Twin Springs substation.
The proposed line will traverse the certificated retail service territories of these electric utilities: The Victory Electric Cooperative Association, Wheatland Electric Cooperative, and Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative.
The order added that commission staff on Oct. 5 submitted its report and recommendation, dated Sept. 27, recommending that the commission grant Sunflower’s application and issue the company a certificate for transmission rights only to transact the business of an electric public utility in the specified territories.
According to staff, the proposed project is part of a multi-year plan to reinforce the 115-kV transmission backbone in portions of the service territories of Victory, Wheatland, and Lane-Scott electric cooperatives, which are members of the Sunflower cooperative.
The order added that according to Sunflower, the project will strengthen transmission reliability and capacity in the area for three Sunflower members and will offset the need for upgrades to three members’ 34.5-kV sub-transmission facilities. Of reliability improvements, Sunflower notes that the project will also provide voltage loss savings and offset the need to rebuild portions of the 34.5-kV system, the order said.
The proposed route will be located in the retail territory belonging to the three members of Sunflower that have requested the project, the order said, noting that Wheatland depends on nearly 30 miles of 34.5 kV that will need to be replaced in the future; Victory relies on 115 kV that has no backup in case of an outage; and Lane-Scott’s nearest 115-kV source is 30 miles north.
The order noted that staff recommends that the commission find that public convenience will be promoted by the granting of Sunflower’s application.
“The commission adopts staff’s analysis and recommendation of September 27, 2018, as stated in its report and recommendation and finds that Sunflower’s application should be granted, and that public convenience and necessity will be promoted by issuing Sunflower the requested certificate for transmission rights only,” the commission said.
As noted in staff’s Sept. 27 report, anticipated load growth in the area is related to oil and gas development. The project is estimated to cost $16m, staff said, adding that if the anticipated load growth occurs, Sunflower estimates the project would offset $17.1m of power losses on the 34.5-kV system if the existing 34.5-kV system was required to serve the new growth.