Construction wraps on Midwest Transmission Project in Missouri, Nebraska

The Midwest Transmission Project is a regional transmission project that involved the construction of a new single-circuit 345-kV transmission line in northwest Missouri and southeast Nebraska

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The Missouri Public Service Commission said that Kansas City Power & Light filed a status report regarding the Sibley-Nebraska City Transmission Project – also known as the Midwest Transmission Project – for 4Q16, indicating that the project has been energized.

The project was energized on Dec. 15, 2016. Post in-service and project completion activities, such as right of way (ROW) restoration, are underway, the report said.

The Midwest Transmission Project is a regional transmission project that involved the construction of a new single-circuit 345-kV transmission line in northwest Missouri and southeast Nebraska, extending about 180 miles from the substation located at Omaha Public Power District’s (OPPD) Nebraska City generating station to a new intermediate 345-kV substation near Maryville, Mo., and continuing on to the substation located at KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Co.’s (GMO) Sibley generating station. The new 345-kV substation has been named the Mullin Creek substation, the report added.

The portion of the Midwest Transmission Project in Missouri consists of the Mullin Creek substation and a total of about 135 miles of transmission line from the Sibley generating station to the Mullin Creek substation and from the Mullin Creek substation to the interconnection point with the OPPD-owned facilities at the Missouri-Nebraska state line. The report further noted that the Nebraska portion of the project consists of about 45 miles of transmission line from the interconnection point to the Nebraska City generating station.

As stated in the report, the project’s owner is Transource Energy’s unit, Transource Missouri; Great Plains Energy owns 13.5 percent of Transource Energy, while American Electric Power (AEP) owns 86.5 percent.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Board of Directors issued notifications to construct for the Sibley-Nebraska City Project to GMO and OPPD to be designated transmission owners for the Missouri and Nebraska portions of the project, respectively, the report said.

SPP issued the NTC to GMO in July 2010, and GMO accepted in September 2010. KCP&L/GMO, however, received approval from SPP to “novate” the Missouri portion of the Sibley-Nebraska City Project to Transource Missouri in October 2013, the report added, noting that FERC accepted the SPP-approved designee qualification and novation in December 2013, with an effective date of October 2013. KCP&L/GMO in January 2014 completed the transfer of the project to Transource Missouri.

All permitting scope for the project is complete, including Federal Aviation Administration, environmental, and local county road permitting, the report said, adding that once restoration is complete in the summer, all environmental permits will be closed out.

Noting that substation and line engineering and design activities are complete, the report said that remaining engineering activities are focused on closeouts of supply and service contracts.

Discussing ROW acquisition, the report said that most of the needed parcels – 356 of 400 – were acquired through negotiated agreement, with 44 parcels acquired through condemnation.

Of construction and material management matters, the report noted that Kenny Construction, the construction and materials manager for Transource, continues to work with landowners regarding cross loss and damage claims, as well as to assist Transource Missouri with contract close-out for the project.

Phillips & Jordan (P&J), the ROW Clearing, Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan & Restoration contractor, completed tree clearing during the winter 2014-2015, and winter 2015-2016 clearing seasons, the report said. P&J restoration and permanent seeding crews plan to remobilize in March when the weather supports restoration activities, which will continue through 2Q17, the report said.

Capital Electric Line Builders, the line construction contractor, completed the structure installations – 843 total – by the end of 2Q16, the report said, adding that Capital completed all of the remaining wire pulling activities – stringing/clipping and fiber optic cable splicing – as well as testing activities, during 4Q16. Capital will finalize close out activities through 1Q17, the report said.

There are a number of other project-related agreements – including interconnection agreements – between Transource Missouri, KCP&L/GMO, OPPD, and other entities that have been developed, finalized and accepted by FERC in order to facilitate the construction and operation of the project, the report said.

Among other things, the report noted that Transource Missouri has entered into generator interconnection agreements with the developers of new generation resources in order to facilitate the connection of those new resources to the interconnected transmission grid within SPP. For instance, one such agreement was entered in December 2015 by Transource Missouri and SPP with Rock Creek Wind Project LLC; the Rock Creek wind farm is expected to be in service during the second half of 2017. A second such agreement was entered in July 2015 by Transource Missouri and SPP with Osborn Wind Energy LLC, the report added, noting that the 200-MW Osborn wind farm in DeKalb County began delivering energy when the Sibley-Nebraska City Project was placed in service.

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