The new, 115-kilovolt line runs six miles between the recently built Rolling Hills Substation on Cherry Avenue south to the Hastings Substation near Hastings Avenue and Broadway Drive. Total cost, including the new substation, is $21.3 million.
“This project, along with the other Amarillo transmission enhancements, helps prevent and minimize outages by providing alternate routes for power to flow in the case of outages on the network,” said David Hudson, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company.
These lines also boost the capacity of the system, which helps us meet the growing demand for electricity in north Amarillo and around the entire city.
Transmission lines are the “highways” of the power grid, moving power from generation sources
to the distribution substations within regional towns and cities.
A 115-kilovolt transmission line was completed in April 2013 in south Amarillo, connecting the Amarillo South Substation to the Randall County Substation. Xcel Energy invested $20.1 million in that project. A third project will connect Hastings to East Plant Substation in east Amarillo, with work beginning in January 2015 and finishing six months later. Additional studies are under way for transmission improvements in southwest Amarillo, another area where new customers are being added.
The Amarillo projects were identified and ordered as necessary improvements in a 2010 study by the Southwest Power Pool, the regional transmission organization that coordinates reliability on the transmission system serving portions of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Xcel Energy’s Southwestern Public Service Company subsidiary serves 80 communities in the Panhandle and South Plains of Texas and 14 communities in eastern and southeastern New Mexico. The company’s transmission system reaches even farther, taking in the Oklahoma Panhandle and portions of southwestern Kansas.