This map from Xcel Energy shows the new transmission line for the Roswell area as indicated by the dotted lines. (Submitted Graphic)
Xcel Energy has started the second phase of a $27 million project to upgrade the high-voltage electric transmission system that powers Roswell and surrounding areas.
The project, known as the Roswell Loop, is an effort to replace older 69-kilovolt transmission lines with new 115-kilovolt lines, which will boost the reliability and capacity of the local power grid, the company said in a [auth] news release.
The project involves three aspects:
• A nine-mile, 115-kilovolt 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-kilovolt line between the Capitan and Price substations in north Roswell and a 4.7-mile, 115-kilovolt line connecting the Price and Chaves County substations northeast of Roswell, expected to be completed by 2018; and
• Upgrades to 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,” said Mike McLeod, regional manager for Community and Economic Development in Roswell.
An Xcel spokesman said that the area has had a 10 percent increase in electricity demand since 2007 and has grown by 1 percent to 2 percent each year.
The Roswell upgrades are part of a larger effort known as “Power for the Plains.” That effort is building 100 miles of new transmission lines across New Mexico and Texas by 2017 and almost 500 miles by 2021. Xcel Energy has invested in nearly 800 miles of new transmission lines and 10 substations since 2011 in its New Mexico and Texas service areas.
A public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, Xcel Energy provides energy to homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. The company has its headquarters in Minneapolis.