Companies flocked to the
But they need the power of electricity to do so.
The project is a response to recent growth in oil and gas development in the area, providing an economic boon to southeast
The project will connect Xcel’s TUCO Substation, just north of
The project was predicted to be complete by 2021, read a Thursday news release from Xcel.
The company celebrated the first phase of the construction, an 86-mile line between China Draw and
“The Hobbs-China Draw line opens up a critical pathway for additional power to sustain industrial growth and job creation in southeastern
“Additionally, it will vastly improve the efficiency and reliability of our network, which over time will reduce costs to our customers.”
More: Rural communities could be at risk during oil and gas boom, debate over air quality ensues
Hudson said the company was anxious to expand in the
“We’re building all this because of the expanding economy here,” Hudson said. “We’re here in the epicenter of one of the busiest places in the world. We’re sitting here in a major intersection point.”
More: Project to drill for oil under
The project is part of Xcel’s “Power to the Plains” initiative to increase the capacity and reliability of its power supply to customers in
More than 800 miles of new transmission lines, and 30 substations were added to the region since 2011, along with upgrades to 40 additional existing substations.
Overall, “Power to the Plains” could represent up to a $3 billion investment through 2021, via this and future projects.
Despite the wide scope of the project, Hudson said the southern
“This is just one of a multi-step journey,” he said. “But the goal is to get right here.”
More: Permian oil and gas growth could be hampered by infrastructure needs
Xcel personnel found 40 cultural sites during land surveys for the project, he said, discovering an alleged “pit house,” –oldest of its kind — an underground Native American structure.
The company also worked with the
Xcel also made sure to protect the dune sagebrush lizard, and lesser prairie chicken, two species considered endangered by the
More: Oil town school districts struggle against boom and bust
“We faced many, many challenges,” Lamb said. “There were so many partnerships that went into this 90 miles. With the celebration, today we know we’re back to work.”
Back to work means Xcel will continue to develop 700 miles of transmission line, and 27 substations in the region through 2021, Lamb said.
The company is also planning 10 more substations in
“We’re really proud to be here in this environment, really proud to create so many jobs,” Lamb said. “Reliable electricity helps drive economic growth and job creation, and transmission delivers that electricity.”
New Mexico State Land Commissioner
More: Blight on the banks: Officials hope saving a rare mussel could restore the
He said that money went to
“This has given us the ability to get energy out of
Dunn said the added electrical capacity is essential to a shift by oil and gas operators in using recycled produced water, instead of fresh, drinking water.
“To recycle water, you’ll need more power,” Dunn said. “This project will help create income for the State, and it will be a benefit for the future phases of recycling produced water.”
More: EPIC NGL pipeline halfway to
Rodriguez said the City has a valuable partner in Xcel.
“We’re all growing together,” Rodriguez said. “We’re moving out of the traditional boom and bust cycle. It will be replaced by an ebb and flow. It might go down, but it won’t bust. We’re very thankful for this project to continue to address the growth in southeast
(c)2018 the Carlsbad Current-Argus (Carlsbad, N.M.)
Visit the Carlsbad Current-Argus (Carlsbad, N.M.) at www.currentargus.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.