Xcel Energy: Second phase of $27m Roswell Loop project has started in New Mexico

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) on March 17 said that it has started the second phase of the $27m Roswell Loop project to upgrade the high-voltage electric transmission system that powers Roswell, N.M., and the surrounding areas.

The company said that the project, which is an effort to replace older 69-kV transmission lines with new 115-kV lines, involves:

  • A nine-mile, 115-kV transmission line segment between the Roswell substation in southern Roswell and the Capitan substation in western Roswell that was completed in 2014
  • 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 northeast of Roswell; this phase of construction is expected to be completed by 2018
  • Upgrades to the Roswell, Capitan, Price, and Chaves County substations to accommodate the higher voltage lines

“The Roswell economy has grown and continues to grow, which drives the need for upgrades to the power grid to accommodate higher demand,” Mike McLeod, regional manager for Community and Economic Development in Roswell, said in the statement. “Our energy future is tied directly to this type of growth, and it’s critical that we make timely investments in our power delivery systems to maintain high reliability at the most reasonable cost.”

Xcel said that the Roswell upgrades are part of a larger effort known as “Power for the Plains,” which was launched by Xcel subsidiary Southwestern Public Service and is enhancing the power grid across all of Xcel’s New Mexico and Texas service area. Nearly 100 miles of new transmission will be built across both states this year, and more than 500 miles will be built by 2021, the company added.

Xcel noted that it has invested in nearly 800 miles of new transmission lines and 10 substations since 2011 in both states, representing more than $1.6bn in investment.

According to the Roswell Loop project webpage, the project has a proposed in-service date of June 1, 2018.

According to the Power for the Plains website, projects proposed to be in service in the next few months include:

  • The estimated $6m, 115-kV Roadrunner-Agave-Ochoa project in New Mexico, which has a proposed in-service date of April 28. According to the project’s webpage, the project consists of about two miles of new transmission line between the Roadrunner substation about 25 miles west of Jal, N.M., and the Ochoa substation, located about 20 miles northwest of Jal. The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) in January 2016 approved a Notice to Construct for the project, which will enhance electric reliability and create capacity for load growth in the area, according to the site
  • The estimated $14m, 115-kV Custer Mountain-Ponderosa project in New Mexico, which has a proposed in-service date of June 1. According to the project’s webpage, the project consists of about 10.7 miles of new transmission line stretching between a new Ponderosa substation, located about eight miles west of Jal, to a proposed Custer Mountain substation, located nine miles northwest of Jal. The project will provide new transmission capacity and electric service to the areas around the new Ponderosa substation and will improve service reliability in the area, according to the site
  • The estimated $15m, 115-kV Mustang Shell project in Texas, which also has a proposed in-service date of June 1. According to the project’s webpage, the project consists of about eight miles of new transmission line between the existing Mustang substation, located five miles east of Denver City, Texas (half mile north of County Road 390), and the existing Shell substation, located about three miles north of Denver City, and about a mile east of County Road 255 in Yoakum County. SPP in June 2014 approved a Notice to Construct for the project, which will increase reliability and meet growing needs in the area, the site said
  • The estimated $16m, 115-kV China Draw-Wood Draw project in New Mexico, which has a proposed in-service date of June 15. According to the project’s webpage, the project consists of about 14 miles of new transmission line between the new China Draw substation, located about 22 miles south of Carlsbad, and the Wood Draw substation, located about 29 miles southeast of Carlsbad. The project will improve reliability and provide additional 115-kV capacity for the growing electricity demand in Eddy and Lea counties, according to the site
  • The estimated $21m, 115-kV Atoka-Eagle Creek project in New Mexico, which has a proposed in-service date of June. According to the project’s webpage, the project consists of about 25 miles of new transmission line between the Atoka substation, about three miles southwest of Atoka, N.M., and the Eagle Creek substation, located about one mile northeast of Artesia, N.M. SPP in February 2013 approved a Notice to Construct for the project, which will increase reliable electric service in Eddy County, the site said

Among other things, the Power for the Plains website noted that the estimated $10m, 115-kV PCA Interchange-Quahada Interchange project in New Mexico went into service on Feb. 25.

According to that project’s webpage, the project consists of nearly 13 miles of new transmission line that was rebuilt between the existing PCA Interchange, located about 15 miles northeast of Carlsbad, and the new Quahada Interchange, located about 30 miles northeast of Carlsbad. SPP accepted a Notice to Construct for the project in February 2015. The site also noted that the current transmission line was removed and replaced with the new line in existing right of way to increase reliability and alleviate overload conditions.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.