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Topeka, Kan.-based ITC Great Plains LLC has received siting approval from the Kansas Corporate Commission (KCC) to build the first phase of its 345 kV Kansas Electric Transmission Authority (KETA) project. This first phase of the project involves the construction of an 89-mile transmission line between Spearville, Kan., and Hays, Kan.

The KCC siting approval is a critical step in allowing ITC Great Plains to pursue the KETA project, a 215-mile-long transmission line that will run between Spearville, Kan., and Axtell, Neb.

"The KETA project will help provide affordable power for Kansans and Southwest Power Pool (SPP), while bolstering the reliability of our regional transmission grid, and will allow for the further development of wind power in the region," says Carl Huslig, president of ITC Great Plains.

The decision provides additional backing for ITC Great Plains to continue developing and implementing an ambitious regional transmission plan within the SPP region founded upon open access to the grid and collaboration with key energy stakeholders, according to the company.

The siting permit was conditioned upon ITC Great Plains' obtaining the authorization from SPP to construct the project. ITC Great Plains is in the process of securing this authorization, as well as other remaining regulatory approvals, to build the first phase of the project while also pursuing the development of the second phase of the project, which will run from Hays, Kan. to the Nebraska border. The final segment of the project from the Nebraska border to Axtell, Neb., will be completed by Nebraska Public Power District.

The cost for ITC Great Plains' portion of the KETA project is currently estimated to be approximately $200 million. The first phase of the project represents approximately $90 million of this total.

SOURCE: ITC Holdings Corp.

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