Moonlight Transmission Upgrades

Evergy is preparing to upgrade a power system in Olathe, Kansas. We will rebuild one mile of existing transmission line from the Moonlight Substation, located at South Hedge Lane and West Sante Fe Street, to North Hedge Lane and West 127th Street. We will also complete equipment upgrades within Moonlight Substation.

What to expect

The existing power system serves the area with only one power source or feed. Rebuilding the transmission line and upgrading Moonlight Substation will add a second power source into the area, increasing redundancy. The improvements will enhance electric reliability and strengthen the regional power grid, allowing us to serve homes and businesses well into the future. This project is part of Evergy’s long-range plan to upgrade the transmission grid in eastern Kansas and increase electric reliability in the Olathe area.

Project map

Map of where work is being done in Moonlight

Timeline

 

Timeline from April 2020 to November 2022

Real Estate

We are committed to transparent and timely communications with landowners. We contacted landowners who have property on the transmission line route and purchased the easements necessary to build the line. We also discussed what to expect from our construction efforts and restoration practices. Our intent is to leave property in a state comparable to pre-construction.

Health and Environment

Evergy believes the environment is an important factor when planning and designing transmission line projects. We work closely with the appropriate organizations from the beginning of projects to make sure any direct environmental impact is appropriately identified and addressed.

We will likely replace existing wood single pole structures with new steel single poles structures. The new structures will likely be an average of 18 feet taller than existing structures and will likely be an average of 280 feet apart. The existing structures carry one circuit of electricity, while the new structures will carry two circuits. Steel poles are utilized for reliability and resiliency with the harsh weather conditions our communities can face.

Image of existing structure and new structure

What is the Moonlight project?
Evergy is preparing to upgrade a power system in Olathe, Kansas. We will rebuild one mile of existing transmission line from the Moonlight Substation, located at South Hedge Lane and West Sante Fe Street, to North Hedge Lane and West 127th Street. We will also complete equipment upgrades within Moonlight Substation.

Why is this line needed?
The existing power system serves the area with only one power source or feed. Rebuilding the transmission line and upgrading Moonlight Substation will add a second power source into the area, increasing redundancy.

The improvements will enhance electric reliability and strengthen the regional power grid, allowing us to serve homes and businesses well into the future. This project is part of Evergy’s long-range plan to upgrade the transmission grid in eastern Kansas and increase electric reliability in the Olathe area.

Who will benefit from the project?
This project will benefit residents and businesses in Olathe, eastern Kansas and beyond by strengthening the regional power grid and enhancing reliability. It will also provide tax revenue, construction jobs, local expenditures and will expand capabilities for future investment in area industry.

Who is responsible for this project?
Evergy
will construct and own the new transmission line. The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) operates the transmission system in the region for this transmission line. SPP will direct Evergy to operate the new transmission line.

When will the line be built?
The project is scheduled to be complete and in-service by June 2022. We are forecasting construction work to begin in the fall of 2021.

What will the line look like?
We will likely replace existing wood single pole structures with new steel single poles structures. The new structures will likely be an average of 18 feet taller than existing structures and will likely be an average of 280 feet apart. The existing structures carry one circuit of electricity, while the new structures will carry two circuits. Steel poles are utilized for reliability and resiliency with the harsh weather conditions our communities can face.

How was right-of-way acquired for this project?
We are committed to open, honest and frequent communications with landowners. We contacted landowners who have property on the transmission line route and purchased the easements necessary to build the line. One-time payments were provided, typically negotiated up-front, based on determination of the market property values in the local area or based on the value of the easement as it affects the property. These easements will allow property owners to continue most uses of their property.

Who will build the lines and manage the construction?
Evergy will design and construct the transmission line using both Evergy resources and subcontractors depending on the task. Evergy will provide project management services and coordination during construction of the project.

Will construction affect traffic?
There may be increased traffic in the area due to construction, but we will do our best to limit impact to residents.

How much will the project cost?
Since the project isn’t complete, final costs haven’t been determined, but the initial estimated investment is approximately $7 million. Because the project will entirely benefit Evergy customers, costs will be reflected in customer rates.

What environmental impacts were considered with the siting of the project?
Evergy believes the environment is an important factor when planning and designing transmission line projects. We work closely with appropriate organizations, including the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Kansas Historical Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nature Conservancy from the beginning of projects to make sure any direct environmental impact is appropriately identified and addressed. We believe this kind of collaboration leads to developing a transmission line route that aligns with federal and state energy and environmental policy objectives. We adhere to all state and federal regulations to protect native plants, threatened or endangered species, wetlands and water and air quality.

Regulatory and Government Policy

Which regulatory bodies will have to approve the project?
The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) is the regulatory body with oversight regarding the siting of such transmission line projects in the state of Kansas. We will be required to obtain an Electric Service Line permit from the KCC.

Participants:

Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC)

The KCC regulates and has the responsibility of ensuring electric utilities provide safe, adequate and reliable services at reasonable rates. The mission of the KCC is to protect the public interest through impartial and efficient resolution of all jurisdictional issues.

Southwest Power Pool (SPP)

The SPP is a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO), mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale prices of electricity. SPP operates subject to a tariff filed with and governed by FERC. This tariff contains over 2,100 pages of rates, terms and conditions for providing transmission service to SPP’s customers to move wholesale electric power within and across SPP’s 17-state footprint.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

FERC regulates the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce and ensures the reliability of high-voltage interstate transmission systems.

Evergy, Inc. (Evergy)
Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG) serves approximately 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri. We generate nearly half the power we provide to homes and businesses with emission-free sources. We support our local communities where we live and work and strive to meet the needs of customers through energy savings and innovative solutions.