March 5, 2021 Read More →

Xcel proposes major transmission project in Colorado to boost renewable energy access

The Colorado Sun:

Xcel Energy on Tuesday filed a plan with state electricity regulators for a $1.7 billion project to build 560 miles of transmission lines encircling eastern Colorado designed to bring wind and solar electricity to Front Range population centers from rural areas.

The project – Power Pathway – would be done in collaboration with at least four other utilities, since the high-tension lines for the massive project would run through the service areas of several companies.

“This collaborative approach to building major transmission projects will help shape Colorado’s energy future,” Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Aram Benyamin said in a statement. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Black Hills Energy and the Platte River Power Authority are the other utilities that are set to partner on the project.

Xcel filed the proposal with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission which will determine whether the project is needed and in the public interest.

The transmission project would complement Xcel’s Clean Energy plan which aims to add 5,600 megawatts of renewable electricity generation and storage, so that the company can reduce its carbon emissions by 85% from 2005 levels by 2030 to meet state targets.

The proposed 345-kilovolt lines would ring eastern Colorado, covering more than a dozen counties, from Platteville in Weld County, east to Yuma County, then south to Eads in Kiowa County and then sweeping back west toward Pueblo and ending in Arapahoe County. One option also has the network extending south along the state line to Springfield, in Baca County. The exact routes for the five segments of new transmission have not been determined, Xcel said. The utility, which serves about 1.5 million customers in Colorado, projects the first segment to be in service by 2025.

[Mark Jaffe]

More: Xcel Energy floats “Power Pathway” plan to bring wind, solar power to cities from rural Colorado

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