Rush Creek Connect

Voltage: 345 kV line

Estimated length: 83 miles

Estimated cost: $120 million

Targeted in-service: October 2018

Xcel Energy has received final approval to build, own, and operate 600 megawatts (MW) of new wind generation, an approximately 83-mile 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and two new substations in eastern Colorado. The 345 kV transmission line will connect the wind farm to our existing Missile Site Substation in Arapahoe County. The wind farm will cover 95,000 acres in Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson and Cheyenne Counties. The new transmission line will have a 150-foot wide right-of-way. The transmission line route passes through Lincoln, Elbert, and Arapahoe Counties.

Construction update

Construction of the transmission began in July. The majority of the structures will be installed using direct embed foundations, which involves drilling a hole, inserting a structure and backfilling. A few of the structures will sit on concrete foundations. The structure's pieces are set into place using a crane. Landowners will be notified prior to work beginning on their land.

Xcel Energy identified the route for the new 83-mile 345 kV transmission line after consulting with local, state and federal agencies, holding public open houses with a comment period, studying environmental and land use factors. Engineers identified eight alternative routes and after additional analysis, selected and submitted a preferred alternative to each County for review and approval.

Transmission line construction timeline (subject to change)
  • Foundation construction: Began August 2017
  • Structure setting: Beginning September 2017
  • Conductor stringing: Beginning January 2018
  • Transmission line estimated in-service date: July 2018

Xcel Energy invites interested stakeholders to attend the Rush Creek Gen-Tie meeting and webinar being hosted by the company on October 10, 2017 at 1:30-3:30 p.m. The purpose of this meeting and webinar is to discuss alternatives identified in the recently published "Rush Creek Task Force Study Report" to potentially integrate the Rush Creek Gen-Tie line as a network facility. This meeting is being held to comply with the terms of the Rush Creek Settlement Agreement approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in September 2016 (CPUC Decision No. C16-0958, mailed October 20, 2016). (View more information)

Settlement Agreement Reached

We filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on May 13, 2016 a request for two Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCNs) to: (1) construct and operate the Rush Creek wind generation facilities and (2) construct and operate the 345 kV generation intertie to connect the wind generation facilities to the electric grid. View the application and testimony here (scroll down to filing documents). You can review all filings on the project on the  CPUC website (external link) and enter 16A-0117E in the 'Proceeding Number' field. The CPCN process does not decide the final route of the transmission line. The final location and alighment of the transmission line was determined through a separate local government siting and permitting process that includes land use permits from Arapahoe, Elbert, and Lincoln Counties.

Xcel Energy and multiple parties agreed to a settlement on September 2, 2016 that would approve the CPCNs and allow for Xcel Energy to move forward with the Rush Creek project. The CPUC held a public hearing on the settlement agreement on September 9, 2016. The settlement agreement was approved by the CPUC on September 30, 2016. The CPUC issued its written approval on October 20, 2016. View the Settlement Agreement. View the Attachment. View CPUC press release.

Powering Benefits

The project will:

  • Create hundreds of jobs and bring more than $1 billion into the regional economy
  • Build 300 Vestas wind turbines at facilities in Brighton, Pueblo and Windsor
  • Provide the lowest-cost wind energy on our Colorado system.
  • Deliver clean, renewable energy
  • Eliminate one million tons of carbon each year.
  • Support energy industry innovation in the state.

Contact Us

Email us or call us at 800.274.6992

Additional Information

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