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Xcel Energy has announced plans to upgrade the high-voltage electricity transmission system in Amarillo, Texas, in an effort to boost reliability and capacity throughout the city.

Between now and the end of 2013, Xcel Energy will spend $33.6 million completing projects that will add and update transmission facilities in north, east and south Amarillo - areas where the city is outgrowing the existing transmission infrastructure as electricity demand increases, the company notes.

"Upgrading and modernizing the transmission system not only helps prevent and minimize outages on the system, but also supports the efforts of local economic developers who promote reliable, plentiful and low-cost power to businesses seeking to relocate or expand in the Amarillo area," says Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Co., an Xcel Energy company. 

The 2012-2013 transmission enhancement projects in Amarillo include the following:

North Amarillo: Load growth led the company to build the new Rolling Hills Substation on Cherry Avenue, and to upgrade the capacity at the existing Hastings Substation. Linking the two substations is a new 230 kV transmission line.

East Amarillo: To improve power flow into east Amarillo, an existing 69 kV line from East Plant Substation on Northeast Third Avenue will be upgraded to 115 kV and connect to the upgraded Hastings Substation.

South Amarillo: Upgrades to the Randall County Substation southeast of the city will accommodate a new 230 kV line that will run southwest to the existing Amarillo South Substation. Additionally, the company notes it recently completed a rebuild of a 115 kV line running 58 miles from the Randall County Substation to the Kress Substation north of Plainview.

Beyond 2013, Xcel says additional transmission enhancements are being studied for the western edges of Amarillo.


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