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Industry News

Sunflower to Add Coal-fired Units at Holcomb Station

LCG, August 12, 2005--Sunflower Electric Power Corporation yesterday announced that its Board of Directors approved an agreement with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. to build two, 600-MW coal-fired units at Sunflowers Holcomb Station power plant in Kansas. Tri-State will own the new generating facilities and will contract with Sunflower to operate and maintain the units.

Tri-State is a wholesale power supplier and is owned by 44 rural electric systems that serve customers in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Nebraska. The additional generation will supplement their long-term power supplies. A spokesperson for Tri-State stated that it plans to invest $2.5 billion in the new units, plus $700 million for up to 550 miles of 345-kV transmission lines stretching from the plant into eastern Colorado. The plans do not include for power to be delivered within the State of Kansas.

With the high-level, Memorandum of Agreement now approved, more detailed agreements and plans will be developed. The schedule is expected to allow for construction to begin in 24-42 months, with a construction period of 42 months for the first unit. The units are likely to be constructed sequentially, with the second unit starting approximately a year after construction commences on the first unit.

The new units will be built adjacent to the existing facilities at Holcomb Station. The existing plant, which became operational in 1983, has a generating capacity of 360-MW. The plant now burns low-sulfur coal mined in Wyomings Powder River Basin and delivered to the plant by rail.

Sunflower has stated that it has secured all necessary permits for the expansion, and a spokesperson for the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) stated the agreement to build the power plants does not require the regulatory agency's approval, although Sunflower and Tri-State may need the KCC's authority to construct the transmission lines.

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