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Boston-based CRA International Inc. has helped prepare a study about the economic benefits of building approximately 1,200 miles of extra-high voltage transmission in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

SPP manages the transmission system in all or part of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and east Texas outside of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

The study, titled "First Two Loops of SPP EHV Overlay Transmission Expansion, Analysis of Benefits and Costs," reveals that the economic benefits of building the proposed extra-high-voltage transmission in the region outweigh the costs. It was prepared for Electric Transmission America LLC, a joint venture of subsidiaries of AEP and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.; Westar Energy; and OGE Energy Corp.

The study evaluated an SPP proposal to build approximately 600 miles of 765 kV lines in western Kansas and Oklahoma by 2014 and another 600 miles of 765 kV transmission in the Texas panhandle and Oklahoma by 2016. The study concluded the following:

- building the projects would save approximately $2.8 billion in annual power supply costs throughout SPP by enabling development of more than 14,000 MW of renewable wind generation;

- $100 million in benefits would be realized by reducing line losses;

- construction of the wind generation and transmission lines would result in more than 10,000 construction jobs, 5,000 permanent jobs and more than $60 million per year in property taxes; and

- transmission projects will provide net economic benefits of more than $600 million per year.

SOURCE: CRA International Inc.


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