Alamosa to Antonito Transmission Line Rebuild Project

Project Update - Proposed Route

The Alamosa to Antonito Transmission Line Rebuild Project, announced in November 2021, involves replacing approximately 39 miles of a 60-year-old 69-kilovolt (kV) transmission power line between the Alamosa Terminal and Antonito substations. The existing power line is critical to providing reliable service to customers and cannot be taken out of service while being replaced. For that reason, Xcel Energy initiated a study in the fall of 2021 to identify a new corridor that minimizes environmental and community impacts while meeting engineering and safety standards.

Since fall 2021, Xcel Energy has been working with communities, landowners, and other stakeholders to identify and evaluate a range of transmission line route alternatives, which have been documented in a Transmission Line Routing Study (Routing Study). After evaluating several route alternatives, Xcel Energy has selected the proposed transmission line route for permitting in Alamosa and Conejos counties. Routing criteria we evaluated includes existing land use, proximity to residences, wildlife species and critical habitat, archaeological and architectural resources, aesthetics/visual resources, and input received from the community during public open houses and meetings with landowners.

Our routing study evaluated approximately 180 miles of route links, which were connected to form eight end-to-end route alternatives. Our route comparison process led to the selection of the proposed route for permitting.

To minimize impacts to homeowners and agricultural operations and meet safety and transmission system needs, the Proposed Route is primarily aligned along U.S. Highway 285, county roads, and field edges. System needs are met by installing new fire-resistant steel poles that are built to specifications consistent with Xcel Energy’s systemwide design. Project needs are also met as this route best enables Xcel Energy to update aging poles to improve electric service for its customers. The enclosed map shows the proposed route.

In fall 2022, Xcel Energy will submit two land use permit applications for Project approval: one application to Alamosa County and one application to Conejos County. Three public hearings will be scheduled:

  • One public hearing before the Alamosa County Board of County Commissioners for a decision on the application.
  • One public hearing before the Conejos County Planning Commission for a recommendation on the application.
  • One public hearing before the Conejos County Board of County Commissioners for a decision on the application.

When the Alamosa County and Conejos County land use offices deem their respective permit applications to be complete, they will schedule the hearings noted above. When the hearings are scheduled, each county will provide public notice of the hearings’ dates, times, and locations. Xcel Energy will also include this information on the Project website and will send a mailer to affected landowners along the proposed route with the hearings’ dates, times, and locations. Pending permit approval, construction of the Project is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023.

Xcel Energy’s right-of-way team is committed to working with affected landowners throughout the easement acquisition and construction process. Please contact us at the number or email below with questions you may have about the Project and how it affects your property.

Project Need

Due to natural weathering, lightning damage and unscheduled interruptions in service, the wood pole structures, equipment and components that were installed more than 60 years ago need to be replaced.

The new infrastructure will address aging poles and equipment to improve electric service to homes and businesses in Alamosa and Conejos counties.

Project Description

The existing 69 kV transmission line will be rebuilt. All structures and conductor wires will be removed and rebuilt with new fire-resistant steel structures, new conductors and new Optical Ground Wire (OPGW). The OPGW keeps our system smart by providing a communication channel to transport system performance data to aid in faster, more efficient response times if power is interrupted. The OPGW also aids as a grounding source for lightning during storms.

Schedule

  • Transmission routing study: September 2021  March 2022
  • Public outreach: October 2021 – March 2022
  • Preferred route selection: Spring 2022
  • Permitting: Summer-Fall 2022
  • Surveying and easement procurement: Summer-Fall 2022
  • Construction: 2023

Contact Us

Please call the project hotline at 1-855-839-8865 or email alamosatoantonito@xcelenergy.com with any questions or concerns.