Olathe Transmission Line Upgrade

Evergy is preparing to upgrade an existing transmission line in Olathe to enable improved system monitoring. The improvements will enhance reliability and strengthen regional power grid, allowing us to serve homes and businesses well into the future.

What to expect

  • We will replace a set of wires and about 35 poles along the existing transmission line.
  • Where possible, we will replace the existing wood poles with wood poles the same height as the existing structures. A few structures will likely be replaced with steel poles the same height as the existing structures.
  • Steel poles are utilized for additional reliability and resiliency with the harsh weather conditions our communities can face.

Project map

 Map of Olathe transmission project

Timeline

 

Timelines

This project is part of Evergy’s long-range plan to upgrade the transmission grid in eastern Kansas and increase electric reliability in Olathe.

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.

What is the Olathe project?
We will replace a set of wires and about 35 poles along the existing transmission line. Where possible, we will replace the existing wood poles with wood poles the same height as the existing structures. A few structures will likely be replaced with steel poles the same height as the existing structures. Steel poles are utilized for additional reliability and resiliency with the harsh weather conditions our communities can face.

Why is this line needed?
Evergy is preparing to upgrade an existing transmission line in Olathe to enable communications between Evergy equipment and facilities. The improvements will enhance 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 Olathe.

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 improving reliability. It also will provide tax revenue, construction jobs, local expenditures and will expand capabilities for future investment in area industry.

Who pays for transmission lines and facilities?
Because the project will entirely benefit Evergy customers, all the costs will be recovered from Evergy customers.

Who is responsible for this project?
Evergy owns and will upgrade the transmission line. The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) operates the transmission system in the region for this transmission line.

When will the line be built?
The project is scheduled to be complete and in-service by December 2022. We are forecasting construction work to begin in June 2022. After construction, properties will be restored to, near as reasonable, pre-construction condition.

How will right-of-way be acquired for this project?
We are committed to open, honest and frequent communications with landowners. We will contact landowners who have property on the transmission line route to discuss purchasing the easements necessary to upgrade the line. We will also discuss if a pole will be replaced on their property. This will allow property owners to continue most uses of their property. One-time payments are provided, typically negotiated up-front, based on determination of the market property values in the local area. Or, instead of the above ending, based on the value of the easement as it affects the property. It is our goal to reach negotiated agreements with all landowners.

What if Evergy can't come to an agreement with landowners?
Fortunately, that is a rare occurrence. Evergy will make every effort to reach negotiated agreements. Evergy may exercise the right of eminent domain to obtain an easement after exhausting attempts through negotiations with a landowner.

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.

How much will the project cost?
Since the project isn’t complete, final costs haven’t been determined, but the initial estimated investment for the transmission line is approximately $8 million.

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.

What environmental impacts will be 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 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.