Electric Transmission America (ETA), a joint venture of subsidiaries of American Electric Power (AEP) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., has formed a joint venture company with Westar Energy Inc. to build and own new electric transmission assets in Kansas.

The ETA and Westar joint venture, named Prairie Wind Transmission LLC, is proposing to build approximately 230 miles of 765-kilovolt transmission facilities extending from Wichita west to a substation northeast of Dodge City and then south to the Kansas border from Medicine Lodge. The project will provide enhanced electricity transport in Kansas and support expansion of renewable electricity generation in the region. ETA expects the project to be completed in five years.

According to Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, more than 30,000 megawatts of wind generation has been proposed for transmission interconnection in the region, but there is insufficient transmission capacity available to transport it to where it could be accessed by customers.

“This project will provide a critical pathway for expansion of renewable generation in Kansas and within the Southwest Power Pool,” Morris said.

The Kansas project encompasses the first phase of the Extra-High-Voltage Overlay Study plan released March 3, 2008, by the Southwest Power Pool.