Order 1000 Prompts AEP-Great Plains Joint Venture to Develop More Transmission Projects

A new joint venture between American Electric Power (AEP) and Kansas City–based Great Plains Energy seeks to reap advantages from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Order 1000 and develop competitive transmission projects in the PJM Interconnection, Southwest Power Pool (SPP), and Midwest ISO transmission regions.

AEP owns 86.5% of the new company, Transource Energy, while Great Plains Energy owns 13.5%. As part of the company’s first projects, Great Plains Energy will seek regulatory approval to transfer two SPP-approved regional transmission projects located in Missouri to Transource.

The Sibley–Nebraska City line is a 175-mile, 345-kV line linking the Nebraska City substation (owned by Omaha Public Power District) near Nebraska City, Neb., with the Sibley substation near Sibley, Mo. Transource would construct and own approximately 170 miles of the project. Omaha Public Power District would construct the remainder of the transmission line. The project, estimated to cost approximately $380 million, has an anticipated in-service date of 2017.

The Iatan-Nashua line is a 30-mile, 345-kV line from the Iatan substation near Weston, Mo., to the Nashua substation near Smithville, Mo. The Iatan-Nashua project, estimated to cost approximately $54 million, has an anticipated in-service date of 2015.

Transource also expects to file an application with the Missouri Public Service Commission this summer for line certificates granting authority to construct, own, and operate the two SPP regional projects. Transource also intends to apply for a FERC formula rate for the Missouri projects later this year.

“Order 1000, issued by the [FERC] last year, creates new opportunities for competitive transmission investment by giving incumbent and non-incumbent transmission developers similar cost-recovery mechanisms for regional and interregional projects,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP president and chief executive officer. “Increased competition in the transmission space will foster cost-effective grid expansion for the benefit of customers.”

Sources: POWERnews, AEP

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