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Xcel Energy says it has finalized plans for additional work on the high-voltage electric transmission loop serving Roswell, N.M., as part of the company's larger Power for the Plains grid reliability and capacity improvement projects.

Work began in 2013 to upgrade the Capitan Substation in western Roswell to accommodate 115 kV transmission service, and a new, nine-mile segment of 115 kV line connecting Roswell Substation in the central part of the city to Capitan was completed earlier this year.

A second phase of construction will start in spring 2017 as the company builds a 10-mile, 115 kV line between the Capitan and Price substations in north Roswell and a 4.7-mile, 115-kV line connecting the Price and Chaves County substations. An existing 69 kV transmission line south of Roswell will be removed from service when the new lines are complete.

Xcel says transmission lines are the “superhighways” of the regional power grid, moving power from generation sources to load centers where it is delivered to local distribution systems. The total investment in the Roswell transmission projects is close to $30 million.

“Our system has to serve not only today’s needs, but also be built for future growth,” says Mike McLeod, regional manager of community and economic development in Roswell. “The best way to prepare for these needs is to upgrade the existing 69 kV system to 115 kV and to ensure we have multiple pathways for power to flow in the event of an outage on the system.”

Xcel Energy began an effort to upgrade and expand its regional transmission network in 2010 when it launched the Power for the Plains initiative. Additionally, the company says it continues to upgrade distribution systems that deliver power directly to customers, along with expansion and improvement to its regional power generation plants. Between now and 2019, Xcel Energy plans to invest close to $3.2 billion in capital projects in its New Mexico and Texas service areas.




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