XCEL Energy is moving forward with replacing its current 39-mile, 69-kiloVolt (kV) transmission line that stretches from Alamosa to Antonito. The company is filing for permit applications with Alamosa and Conejos counties now that it has a proposed new corridor separate from the existing transmission line.
“Xcel Energy is proposing to replace the 60-year-old Alamosa to Antonito transmission line in the San Luis Valley to increase electric reliability, position the region for future economic growth, and reduce potential safety risks associated with aging poles and equipment,” Xcel said in a statement. “The current 39-mile, 69-kiloVolt (kV) transmission line is critical to providing reliable service to customers in the region. The proposed new line will have significant improvements with higher quality materials and updated designs, minimize outages from lightning strikes and mitigate wildfire risk.”
Xcel anticipates the new line will cost $36.5 million and hopes to begin construction in late 2023.
A series of open houses with residents helped steer the proposed new corridor. The transmission line replacement is part of Xcel’s wildfire mitigation plan and the need to replace wooden poles with steel poles.
The Alamosa-to-Antonito transmission line is one of several similar projects Xcel has underway in the state, said Xcel community liaison Ashley Valdez.