Pittsburg Infrastructure Upgrades

Evergy is preparing to begin construction on infrastructure upgrades in your area. These upgrades will enhance reliability and strengthen the regional power grid, allowing us to serve homes and businesses into the future, as well as support growth in the community. This project is part of our long-range plan to upgrade the transmission grid in southeast Kansas, increasing electric reliability and redundancy in the Pittsburg area.

What to expect

  • We will construct a new switching station south of Pittsburg, west of US 69 and East 520th Avenue, across from Southwest Industrial Park
  • We will build 1.89 miles of new transmission line using 11 steel structures to connect the Hudson Substation, located at 1900 South Olive, to the new South Pittsburg Switching Station
  • We will top-off 3.5 miles of transmission line along Centennial Drive, from the US 69 bypass east to Rouse and north along Rouse to the Hudson Tap, located near the intersection of Rouse and Quincy, leaving only distribution equipment. The existing poles will be reduced in height by approximately 20 feet.
  • We will add one wood and two steel transmission structures near the intersection of Quincy and Rouse, as well as replace eight wood structures along East Quincy Street to the Aquarius Tap that feeds the City of Pittsburg Water Treatment Facility

Project map

Pittsburg transmission map of work

Timeline

Timeline of project from spring 2021 to fall 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 wood turning structures (poles on street corners or where the line changes direction) with steel structures.

  • Steel poles as turning structures are self-supporting and don’t require guy-wires. Guy-wires require additional structures on properties and can require additional poles if we need to span sidewalks or driveways.
  • Steel poles are utilized for reliability and resiliency with the harsh weather conditions our communities can face. The poles are engineered to withstand approximately 100 MPH wind.
  • Poles will likely be 70 to 100 feet tall. Existing structures are 65 to 80 feet tall.
  • Spacing between each pole will likely be between 200 to 350 feet. Existing structures are 250 to 350 feet apart.
  • The base of each pole will likely be between 6 to 9 feet in diameter. Existing structures have a 2 feet diameter base with guy-wires off to the sides.

We will likely replace wood in-line structures (poles between turning structures) with wood structures.

  • Poles will likely be 70 to 100 feet tall. Existing structures are 65 to 80 feet tall.
  • Spacing between each pole will likely be between 200 to 350 feet. Existing structures are 250 to 350 feet apart.
  • The base of each pole will likely be between 2.5 to 3.5 feet in diameter. Existing structures are 2 feet in diameter.

Images of existing and new structure

What is the South Pittsburg – Hudson project?

  • We will construct a new switching station south of Pittsburg, west of US 69 and East 520th Avenue, across from Southwest Industrial Park.
  • We will build 1.89 miles of new transmission line using 11 steel structures to connect the Hudson Substation, located at 1900 South Olive, to the new South Pittsburg Switching Station.
  • We will top-off 3.5 miles of transmission line along Centennial Drive, from the US 69 bypass east to Rouse and north along Rouse to the Hudson Tap, located near the intersection of Rouse and Quincy, leaving only distribution equipment. The existing poles will be reduced in height by approximately 20 feet.
  • We will add one wood and two steel transmission structures near the intersection of Quincy and Rouse, as well as replace eight wood structures along East Quincy Street to the Aquarius Tap that feeds the City of Pittsburg Water Treatment Facility.

Why is this line needed?
The upgrades will enhance reliability and strengthen the regional power grid, allowing us to serve homes and businesses into the future, as well as support growth in the community. This project is part of Evergy’s long-range plan to upgrade the transmission grid in southeast Kansas, increasing electric reliability and redundancy in the Pittsburg area.

Who will benefit from the project?
This project will benefit residents and businesses in Pittsburg, southeast Kansas and beyond by strengthening the regional power grid and enhancing reliability. It also will 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 on the switching station in Summer 2021 and on the transmission line in December 2021.

What will the transmission line look like?
We will likely replace wood turning structures (poles on street corners or where the line changes direction) with steel structures.

  • Steel poles as turning structures are self-supporting and don’t require guy-wires. Guy-wires require additional structures on properties and can require additional poles if we need to span sidewalks or driveways.
  • Steel poles are utilized for reliability and resiliency with the harsh weather conditions our communities can face. The poles are engineered to withstand approximately 100 MPH wind.
  • Poles will likely be 70 to 100 feet tall. Existing structures are 65 to 80 feet tall.
  • Spacing between each pole will likely be between 200 to 350 feet. Existing structures are 250 to 350 feet apart.
  • The base of each pole will likely be between 6 to 9 feet in diameter. Existing structures have a 2 feet diameter base with guy-wires off to the sides.

We will likely replace wood in-line structures (poles between turning structures) with wood structures.

  • Poles will likely be 70 to 100 feet tall. Existing structures are 65 to 80 feet tall.
  • Spacing between each pole will likely be between 200 to 350 feet. Existing structures are 250 to 350 feet apart.
  • The base of each pole will likely be between 2.5 to 3.5 feet in diameter. Existing structures are 2 feet in diameter.

With the completion date in the distant future, why is this line now being discussed?
Transmission projects require many years to permit, design, procure materials and construct. Almost all the major components are custom built and require long lead times.

How will right-of-way be acquired for this project?
We are committed to transparent and timely communications with landowners. We will contact landowners who have property along the project to discuss purchasing the easements necessary to complete the upgrades. 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 based on the value of the easement as it affects the property. We will work respectfully with landowners throughout the process to minimize impacts to their properties. 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 $14 million. Because the project will entirely benefit Evergy customers, costs will be reflected in customer rates through the transmission delivery charge.

What environmental impacts will be considered with the siting of the project?
Evergy believes the environment is an important factor when planning and designing improvement 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.