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Electric Transmission America (ETA), a joint venture of American Electric Power (AEP) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings, has formed a joint-venture company with OGE Energy Corp. to build and own new electric transmission assets in Oklahoma.

The joint venture - Horizon Transmission LLC - will build approximately 170 miles of extra-high voltage 765 kV transmission from the Kansas-Oklahoma border north of Woodward, Okla., that will link into OGE's station at Woodward and extend west into the Oklahoma panhandle to a new station that will be built near Guymon, Okla.

Southwest Power Pool's (SPP) estimated cost for the project is $500 million based on SPP's Extra-High Voltage Overlay Study, but final costs will depend on the routing of the line, equipment and commodity costs. Anticipated completion would be in 2013. AEP's ownership share of the joint venture will be 25%.

"Delivering power from the most viable regions for wind generation to large population centers requires a bigger, stronger transmission system," says Michael G. Morris, AEP president and CEO. "Long-term regional transmission planning, as well as broad allocation of costs will allow SPP and the U.S. as a whole to rely on more diverse generation resources in the future."

The joint venture anticipates filing for the necessary state and federal regulatory approvals for the project in the coming months.

ETA also has formed a joint venture with Westar to build 765 kV transmission in Kansas that will connect with the OGE project at the Kansas-Oklahoma border. The combined projects encompass the first two phases of the Extra-High Voltage Overlay Study plan released in March by SPP.

SOURCE: American Electric Power

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