Chetolah Creek to North Hays 115kV Transmission Line Project

Project Updates

Based on the feedback and comments we received during the past several months, we have determined that the eastern route (view here) is the most viable option for the new line. We believe it is important to keep the community up to date on our progress and expected next steps in the development process. Those next steps will include:

  • Development of a preliminary line design — this process will provide information on the structure types we are likely to use in the final design, as well as anticipated structure locations.
  • Retention of a contract land agent who will meet with landowners to share site-specific information on the proposed transmission line and discuss in detail an offer to purchase an easement for the transmission line.

We view the next phase of the transmission line development as an integral part of our continued efforts to meet our customers’ energy needs while planning and preparing for the future, and supporting the continuing development of our community.

Project History

In keeping with its commitment to provide customers with safe, reliable energy, Midwest Energy, Inc. is considering the relocation/reconstruction of the 115kV transmission line that extends from the Chetolah Creek Substation in southeast Hays, through residential and commercial areas on the east side of Vine Street/US-183, up to the North Hays Substation on the north edge of the community, and then continues to the Knoll Substation northwest of Hays. To determine the preferred route for the relocated line, Midwest Energy is asking for public input to better understand geography and engineering opportunities, as well as community suggestions and concerns. Midwest Energy’s decision to relocate and rebuild the transmission line is the result of a feasibility study that examined a number of critical factors:

  • The line is aging – it was put into service in 1954 and maintenance costs continue to increase.
  • The line was built using a conductor that is outdated and undersized by today’s standards, which limits the amount of power that can flow through the line, causing operational challenges.
  • Between 13th Street and 20th Street, the existing line has structures that are placed in the banks of Chetolah Creek. Relocation of the line will provide the City with the opportunity to remove transmission structures from the flood control system.
  • Midwest Energy has a long-term goal of moving some of its distribution load from its current 34kV system to the enhanced 115kV system, thereby improving the efficiency of our local transmission operations.
  • The City of Hays is growing, which places increased electrical load demands on an aging transmission and distribution system. In particular, the development of a new, affordable housing project north of 22nd Street and east of Wheatland Drive, and the City expansion north of 13th Street and Commerce Parkway.