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Kansas utility approved to move forward with substation upgrades

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, June 03, 2011

Kansas utility Westar Energy recently received approval from officials to build an automated substation in a residential area, according to a report.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Westar Energy obtained the permit Thursday from the Shawnee County Commission, which voted to approve the utility's plans in a 2-1 vote. Now, Westar plans to construct an automated substation near where the aging substation it will replace is located on Auburn Road, according to the news source.

Last year, Westar officials put forth plans to install a substation in the area, but it received opposition from residents who were concerned it could lower property values. Those assertions, however, proved unfounded. The utility argued successfully that the new automated substation is a necessary investment because the current one has been operating since 1960 and is not equipped to handle its current electricity load.

Westar will build the substation on a 16-acre section of a part of the city that is farther away from residential neighborhoods. Westar engineer Cindy Risch said that the company was originally loath to build the substation on the plot of land, but "things that looked like roadblocks" before were removed.

Two tiers of trees will be placed around the substation to hide it from plain view. 

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