The final route for a new, 76-mile electric transmission line in Oklahoma has been approved.
Transource Energy, a partnership between Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP) and Evergy, is developing the Sooner-Wekiwa Project, an overhead line the company said is designed to save customers hundreds of millions of dollars.
AEP is the parent company of Tulsa-based Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), which generates, transmits and distributes electric power to about 565,000 retail customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.
In July, Transource announced the project, which was introduced to the public via in-person open houses and virtual town halls. The final line route for the new 345-kilovolt (kV) line was selected after taking into account public feedback and cultural, historic and environmental information.
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“Public input is essential to siting transmission lines,” Transource Director Todd Burns said in a statement. “We met with hundreds of people and considered their comments along with a host of natural, cultural and recreational resources that were identified in the process. Ultimately, we were able to develop a line route that best balances the overall priorities and the need for reliable, affordable electricity.”
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) awarded Transource the bid to construct the electric transmission line in October 2020 to address deficiencies in the electric grid and improve consumer access to low-cost power. The line will go from Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s (OG&E) Sooner Substation in Noble County to Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s (PSO) Wekiwa Substation in Tulsa County.
The line also will dip into Payne, Pawnee and Creek counties, touching the outskirts of Glencoe, Morrison, Drumright and Sand Springs along the way. Transource will build the transmission line, and PSO and OG&E will make upgrades at their substations.
Oklahoma does not require regulatory approval for an electric transmission line project, for which the SPP has identified a need, a spokeswoman for the project said.
Construction on the new line is scheduled to begin in spring 2024 and conclude in late 2025. According to SPP, the project will increase consumer access to more affordable power in Oklahoma, as well as that for some customers in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Louisiana. It is expected to provide an estimated $16.8 million in congestion savings during the first year and $465.6 million over the next 40 years.
An interactive map of the final line route and other project information can be found at TransourceEnergyProjects.com/Sooner-Wekiwa.