Xcel Energy has energized a new high-voltage transmission line across the New Mexico-Texas state line that is supporting a growing economy in eastern New Mexico and West Texas.
The new Curry-to-Bailey 115 kV transmission line cost about $38 million and spans more than 37 miles between the Curry County Substation east of Clovis, N.M., to the Bailey County Substation south of Muleshoe, Texas.
The line is the result of a Southwest Power Pool study that identified a need for a stronger transmission link in the area, based on power demand growth and grid reliability needs. The line is one of dozens of new projects that make up Xcel Energy’s Power for the Plains multibillion-dollar grid improvement initiative.
“Before this line was completed, we had only one 115-kilovolt line coming into the Bailey County Substation,” said Donnie TeBeest, Xcel Energy project manager. “An outage on that one line could cause reliability issues in the Bailey County and Muleshoe areas. The new line will improve system reliability in not only those areas but also in the Clovis area as customer load growth and new generation resources are added to the transmission grid in the region.”
Transmission lines move electricity from power generating sources into load centers such as towns and industrial areas. At the substations, transformers lower the voltage before power is sent down lines in the streets and alleys for distribution to customers.