AEP transmission joint venture starts construction of Kansas transmission project

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Columbus, Ohio, August 1, 2012 — Prairie Wind Transmission, a transmission joint venture that includes American Electric Power (AEP), MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. (through the companies' Electric Transmission America joint venture) and Westar Energy Inc., began construction of 108 miles of new double-circuit, 345-kV transmission lines in south-central Kansas.

The $180 million Prairie Wind Transmission project will stretch from Colwich, Kan., southwest to a new substation at Medicine Lodge, Kan., and then south to Hardtner, Kan., at the Kansas-Oklahoma border. Completion is expected in late 2014.

When complete, the project will be the first high-voltage transmission line linking east and west Kansas and will reduce transmission congestion, improve reliability and support the growth of wind energy in the state and region.

AEP has projected $466 million in transmission capital investment in 2012 through its transmission companies and joint ventures and an $0.08 per share contribution to 2012 earnings from its transmission operations.  

The Kansas Corporation Commission approved the transmission route for the Prairie Wind Transmission project in June 2011. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously approved Prairie Wind Transmission's request for key rate components for the project in December 2008 including a 12.8 percent return on equity.

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