Xcel to break ground on N.M. backup power plant

Xcel Energy on Aug. 6 said it will break ground on a new backup power plant in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

The company plans to move a combustion turbine from an existing facility just north of Borger, Texas, to the new Quay County generating station adjacent to the company’s Campbell Street substation in north Tucumcari.

The turbine, with a capacity of 23 MW, will serve primarily as a standby source of power if service is interrupted on the main transmission line feeding the city from Clovis, Xcel said.

The relocated turbine will be fueled by low-sulfur transportation diesel, and has enough capacity to meet the electricity demand of the entire city if the main transmission line fails. The new power project includes an expansion of the existing Campbell Street substation and modifications to local electrical distribution to accommodate the new generator, the company added.

Alan Davidson, director of regional capital projects for Xcel Energy, said the gas turbine generator will be moved from Texas after the 2012 summer peak season and will be operational by late spring 2013.