Formal groundbreaking ceremonies were scheduled Tuesday near Hobbs, New Mexico, on the $400 million project to eventually connect to a substation north of Abernathy, Texas.
An Xcel statement says the first segment will involve a substation southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The new transmission line should run about 240 miles (386 kilometers) and be in service by 2018.
A similar Xcel project was completed in 2014 connecting the Texas substation to a unit near Woodward, Oklahoma. When all the segments are completed by 2020, the power line is expected to stretch more than 400 miles (644 kilometers) from western Oklahoma to southeastern New Mexico.