We continue to support the joint ventures we formed with other utilities to build new transmission assets within and outside of our service territory. These partnerships allow us to leverage both expertise and financial assets. Many of them modernize the grid and improve reliability, alleviate congested power corridors and facilitate the development of renewable generation.
Electric Transmission Texas (ETT)
In December 2013, ETT energized the last of seven 345-kV transmission line projects under the CREZ banner.
Electric Transmission Texas (ETT), a 50/50 joint venture between subsidiaries of AEP and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., completed the largest transmission construction project in AEP’s history in 2013. ETT operates in ERCOT and is an operating utility with a growing rate base. In 2013, ETT finished seven new 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines (approximately 460 miles) and other infrastructures, marking the conclusion of an approximately $1.5 billion investment to support the Texas Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) program. CREZ reflects the state of Texas’ commitment to renewable energy.
In addition to CREZ, ETT is currently working on projects totaling more than 320 miles of transmission lines and upgrading nine company-owned substations with various in-service dates through 2023. The total of ETT investment is an estimated $1.5 billion.
Electric Transmission America (ETA)
Electric Transmission America (ETA) is a 50/50 joint venture between subsidiaries of AEP and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. ETA has a 50 percent ownership interest in Prairie Wind; Westar Energy holds the remaining 50 percent. The SPP approved the project in April 2010. The project consists of 345-kV double-circuit transmission lines, running from an existing substation in Wichita, Kan., to a new substation northeast of Medicine Lodge, Kan., and then south to the Kansas/Oklahoma border. The approximately $170 million line is needed to enhance the delivery of electricity in Kansas and to support the state’s expansion of renewable energy. In June 2011, the Kansas Corporation Commission approved the route. Construction began in August 2012 and the project is scheduled to be in service by the end of 2014.
Pioneer Transmission is a joint venture between AEP and Duke Energy to build and operate transmission lines and related facilities in Indiana. In December 2011, the approximately 70-mile Reynolds-to-Greentown segment of the Pioneer project was approved by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). Pioneer and Northern Indiana Public Service Company are jointly developing the approximately $330 million segment.