Xcel hosts open house in Ault to discuss new substation, transmission line plans | MyWindsorNow.com

Xcel hosts open house in Ault to discuss new substation, transmission line plans

Sharon Dunn

Residents and business owners in the Ault/Pierce area are invited to an open house tonight to learn about Xcel Energy's plans to build a new substation and about 25 miles of transmission lines to kick up the system's long-term reliability.

Company officials will be on hand from 4-8 p.m. at Highland Re-9 District Administration building. There, residents and business owners can learn more about the company's plan, what they're calling the Northern Greeley Area Plan, and give thoughts on potential routes for the transmission line.

"The idea is the substation will be in place to serve current and future customers for many decades to come," said Mark Stutz, spokesman for Xcel.

The project is slated to begin construction next year and be operational by 2020. Nothing has been absolutely decided on the project, Stutz warned. The project will continue to need approvals from the Public Utilities Commission. Actual locations of the transmission lines will have to be approved by officials from Eaton and Ault and the Board of Weld County Commissioners.

Stutz said the project is the first in the area in decades and is a product of the growth in northern Colorado electricity demand.

"We've had a system there that has operated very well for many decades, but we've reached a point where we need to upgrade," Stutz said. "We always try to anticipate where growth is going to go and making sure our facilities are in place."

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Xcel has been working for the past year or more to improve electricity reliability throughout Greeley, as well. Crews are finishing upgrades to Greeley's 23rd Avenue and 10th Street substation.

"As things grow in the northern Colorado area," Stutz said, "we need to expand our ability to meet that growth."

To go

Xcel Energy will have an open house from 4-8 p.m. tonight at the Highland Re-9 School District Administration Building, 201 1st St. in Ault. For more information, go to xcelenergy.com/northerncolorado.