Major New Mexico line project signals economic growth
ROSWELL, N.M. (Nov. 17, 2020) – In spite of the pandemic and the economic slump it brought, prospects for southeastern New Mexico’s economy are strong, and Xcel Energy’s new 345-kilovolt Eddy County to Kiowa transmission line is now in service to meet current and anticipated growth.
“The new Eddy-Kiowa line is a major component of our 10-year plan to significantly boost the amount of power flowing into the job-creation engine of New Mexico’s economy and to sustain regional industries for decades to come,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “We have essentially built a new power grid where very little transmission infrastructure existed before, and the transformation has been phenomenal.”
Through Xcel Energy’s Power for the Plains grid enhancement initiative, more than $3 billion has been invested in high-voltage transmission lines in New Mexico and Texas that deliver electricity from power sources into towns and industrial areas. A key component of this build-out has been constructing a 345- kilovolt transmission corridor into southeastern New Mexico where oil and gas exploration and related industries have greatly expanded economic opportunity for the region.
Earlier this year, the company completed a 240-mile 345-kilovolt line from north of Lubbock, Texas, to the China Draw Substation southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The recently completed Eddy-Kiowa line is another important link in this system, looping 345-kilovolt service through this part of the state to not only boost the capacity of the grid to deliver a greater supply of electricity but also to provide an alternate pathway to ensure reliability in the event of outages.
The new Eddy-Kiowa line spans 34 miles between the Eddy County Substation, 10 miles southeast of Artesia, to the Kiowa Substation, 15 miles northeast of Carlsbad. Crews built 185 steel structures, poured 3,500 cubic yards of concrete and strung more than 1.1 million feet of conductor along the length of the line. Xcel Energy’s total investment in the project, including substation upgrades, is $65 million.
“We invested a large amount of capital into southeastern New Mexico at a time when most companies were pulling back because of the pandemic and a slowing economy,” Hudson said. “We succeeded in spite of the headwinds thanks to our dedicated employees and because we have a great amount of faith that our New Mexico industries and communities will continue to grow. This new transmission line will provide a greater supply of electric power to enable the economic growth that’s so important to everyone.”
About Power for the Plains The Power for the Plains transmission expansion is a series of transmission line projects that Xcel Energy is upgrading or building in its Texas and New Mexico service area aimed at expanding and updating the electric grid to improve reliability, meet demand and provide new renewable energy outlets. As part of Power for the Plains, Xcel Energy has invested in over 1,300 miles of new transmission lines since 2011 in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. Another 200 additional miles of transmission line is planned to be constructed through 2021. Since 2011, over 75 new substations have been built or upgraded. Another 11 substations will be built or upgraded through 2021. The transmission expansion represents more than $3 billion in investment. About Xcel Energy: Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.