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Xcel adds $65 M transmission line to Carlsbad area

USA, California, Carsbad: A multi-million-dollar transmission line in Eddy County was completed by a major utility provider in the area.

Xcel Energy announced it completed the 345 kV Eddy County to Kiowa transmission line and that it was in service on 17 November to meet the current and future growth. In total, the line meant a $65 M investment by Xcel. It joined a 386 km (240 mi), 345 kV line from an area north of Lubbock, Texas to the China Draw Substation near Carlsbad, completed earlier this year.

David Hudson, president of Xcel’s Texas and New Mexico operations said the line was part of the company’s broader goal of increasing power supply to southeast New Mexico and West Texas and surrounding regions through its decades-long, $3 B Power to the Plains project.

Power to the Plains saw Xcel build 2,092 km (1,300 mi) of new transmission lines since 2011 to connect power sources with rural communities and industrial areas in the region.

About 75 new substations were built, and Xcel plans to add another 320 km (200 mi) of transmission lines and 11 substations by 2021.

“We invested a large amount of capital into south-eastern New Mexico at a time when most companies were pulling back because of the pandemic and a slowing economy,” Hudson said. “We succeeded in spite of the headwinds thanks to our dedicated employees and because we have a great amount of faith that our New Mexico industries and communities will continue to grow.

Recently, Xcel began expanding its power grid in Carlsbad, spending $7.1 M in response to growing local demand in the area, installing line upgrades at substations supplying power to local customers.

A new substation was built in southwest Carlsbad to relieve taxes on the rest of the grid during summer heatwaves that bring on heavy use of air conditioning and other climate control methods.

Wind farms throughout the area continued to increase their share of electricity provided by Xcel, setting daily record of 64 % of the day’s energy in the region on 12 April and setting the hourly record of 76 % on 8 May.


Source: Carlsbad Current Argus