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Xcel Energy Undertakes Five Major Power Transmission Projects in Colorado Set for 2024

Xcel Energy Undertakes Five Major Power Transmission Projects in Colorado Set for 2024 - Certrec


As Xcel Energy moves towards a grid powered primarily by renewable resources, investments in transmission projects to enhance the capacity and resilience of the entire transmission grid are accelerating. 

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), under rule 3627, mandates electric utilities to provide a 10-year plan for additional transmission projects in the state. In February 2022, Xcel Energy, through its subsidiary, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), along with other CPUC-regulated utilities, submitted the sixth 10-year transmission plan. The plan highlights 85 projects, including 63 planned projects and 22 conceptual projects. 

FirmoGraphs tracks the lifecycle of power transmission projects, from regulatory recording to construction and operation. Data sources include regulatory filings from state and federal bodies like state public utility commissions (PUCs) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In this article, we will explore five power transmission initiatives by Xcel Energy that will connect more renewable energy projects to the grid in Colorado.

Xcel Energy transmission network

Xcel Energy owns and operates 4,615 miles of transmission lines spanning more than 8,200 square miles in Colorado. The utility proposes to develop 6,500 MW of new renewable energy resources by 2031 as part of its Colorado Clean Energy Plan. As Xcel Energy moves towards a grid powered primarily by renewable resources, investments in transmission projects to enhance the capacity and resilience of the entire transmission grid are accelerating. 

Xcel Energy’s 10-Year transmission plan

PSCo aims to develop electric infrastructure to maintain system reliability, address interconnection and transmission service requests, meet load growth, and connect new renewable energy projects. As outlined in the 2022 10-Year Transmission Plan for the State of Colorado, the utility proposes to add 37 projects to its transmission footprint, including five newly planned, 14 conceptual, and ten distribution-driven initiatives. 

Projects shaping the future

For the purpose of the article, FirmoGraphs selected five power transmission projects developed by Xcel Energy, all slated to begin construction in 2024.

Name ProjectLength, MilesCapacity, kVProject Start
Alamosa to Antonito Transmission Line Rebuild Project 39692024
Malta to Otero Transmission Line Rebuild 201152024
Saguache to Mirage Junction Transmission Line Rebuild 12692024
Fruita-Uintah 69-kV Rebuild Project4.4692024
Pintail Interconnection3.51152024

Alamosa to Antonito transmission line rebuild project

Xcel Energy plans to replace approximately 39 miles of a 60-year-old, 69-kilovolt (kV) transmission power line between the Alamosa Terminal and Antonito substations. The existing power line is critical to providing reliable service to customers in Alamosa and Conejos counties, but it is aging and prone to outages. The project is in the early stages of development, and the utility is currently conducting a routing study to identify a new corridor for the transmission line that minimizes environmental and community impacts. The project is expected to start construction in 2024 and will be completed in 2025, costing approximately $36.5 million.

Malta to Otero transmission line rebuild

The Malta to Otero Transmission Line Rebuild Project is a crucial infrastructure endeavor to modernize and strengthen the power grid in Colorado. It involves replacing a 50-year-old, 115-kV power transmission line stretching 20 miles between the Malta Substation and the Otero Tap near US-24. The project includes replacing the aged wood H-frames with steel monopoles, rebuilding within the existing right-of-way, and using new conductors and optical ground wires.  The project is anticipated to start in 2024 and take approximately two years to complete. 

Saguache to Mirage Junction transmission line rebuild

Xcel Energy is rebuilding the transmission line connecting Mirage Junction Tap at Highway 17 and County Road AA to the Saguache substation, located east of Saguache. The project aims to improve the electric grid and connect future renewable energy projects in the state. It involves building approximately 12 miles of 69-kV transmission line. The line replacement is slated for fall 2024, with completion anticipated in early 2025. 

Fruita-Uintah 69-kV rebuild project

The Fruita-Uintah 69-kV Rebuild project aims to replace a 65-year-old transmission line near Fruita that shows signs of aging and causes reliability and safety issues. The project will build a new 4.4-mile, 69-kV power transmission line in Fruita and Mesa County. The project will also connect future renewable energy projects in the state. The project will use a combination of steel, single-pole, and H-frame structures. Construction on the project is expected to start in 2024. 

Pintail interconnection

The Pintail Interconnection project is a proposed new 115-kV electric transmission line. The project would connect the Anadarko Substation to power the proposed Phillips 66 Pintail Compressor Station in Weld County. The interconnection covers about 3.5 miles and will use steel monopoles and up to three dead-end structures at substations. Construction on the project is scheduled in late 2024 and will be in service in 2025. 

As Xcel Energy aims to provide 80% of its electricity in Colorado from renewable sources by 2030, the shift toward maintaining a reliable grid is accelerating. Through its 10-year transmission plan for Colorado, the utility proposed to add 37 power transmission projects to its portfolio, unlocking 6,500 MW of renewable energy resources. FirmoGraphs is dedicated to monitoring energy projects from the pre-application stage to construction and operation.