Transmission Task Force


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The SERCC Transmission Task Force is established to

  1. identify capacities, needs, limitations, and opportunities in the Kansas electric transmission grid
  2. determine the reliability of the Kansas grid to disruption and outages
  3. recommend solutions to removing constraints, developing transmission capacity, and ensuring reliability of the transmission grid in Kansas

The TTF should consider this document to be a starting point. The task force is encouraged to use its expertise to make sure the proper questions are being asked and to pursue the issues in whatever direction they need to go.


The State Energy Resources Coordination Council’s State Energy Plan for 2003 identified power transmission constraints as a major hurdle to increasing electricity generation in Kansas. SERCC proposed to create a Transmission Task Force (TTF) to identify the problems and make recommendations on solutions to be presented to the Kansas legislature and governor.

The Transmission Summit meeting held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence on June 10, 2003, identified some of the constraints, issues, and alternatives to dealing with these problems. Rep. Tom Sloan chaired the Summit and reported that, “consensus exists for regional planning to quickly supplant the current project-based evaluation process, and that Kansas needs help in cost-effectively moving power in and out of our state.” It is his intention that “the Summit will not be a culmination of discussions, but rather a step in the process of addressing the issues encapsulated by Kansas’ ‘seam status’ between MISO and SPP and between the eastern and western grids.”

On August 14, 2003, the electricity blackout in the northeast U.S. and eastern Canada raised questions about the reliability and security of the transmission grid.

The TTF’s mandate is to build on that successful Summit and respond to recent events by systematically identifying the challenges, possible solutions, and mechanisms for action to resolve the transmission problems, ensure reliable, reasonably priced power supplies to Kansas, and increase energy production from Kansas.

Transmission Challenges

  • Intrastate constraints limit interstate power transmission.

  • The Kansas transmission system cannot be viewed in isolation from the national and regional systems. System reliability and security

  • The desire to build generation capacity in western Kansas is hampered by insufficient transmission capacity to move the power to eastern Kansas or out of state.

  • Transmission capacity in southwest Kansas is insufficient to handle the proposed addition of substantial wind energy generation.

  • Kansas wind energy potential is much greater than are state needs, so much of the energy would have to be exported. Who funds transmission of this energy out of state? How can the system be designed so recipients of Kansas wind power, not Kansas consumers, help pay for the transmission lines. This will require interstate cooperation.

  • What comes first, generation capacity or transmission capacity? If you build generators, will the transmission lines follow?

  • US DOE set a goal of 100K MW of wind power. A few states would have to become major producers and exporters to achieve this. How can the system be redesigned to accomplish this?

  • How can the Kansas affect the transmission system in a federally-controlled environment?

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Last modified: 11/21/2003