The Alamosa to Antonito Transmission Line Rebuild Project, announced in November 2021, involves replacing approximately 39 miles of 69-kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line between the Alamosa Terminal and Antonito substations (Project). Due to natural weathering 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 more effectively meet current and future customer energy needs, improve overall electric service to homes and businesses in Alamosa and Conejos counties and mitigate fire risk from extreme weather events.
The existing electric transmission 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 transmission line corridor that minimizes environmental and community impacts while meeting engineering and safety standards. The new transmission line will be rebuilt to current design standards that will improve system reliability, meet customer energy needs now and into the future, and reduce wildfire risk.
During the construction process, all existing structures and conductors (wires) will be removed and rebuilt with new fire-resistant steel structures that are built to specifications consistent with Xcel Energy’s systemwide design, new conductors and new optical ground wire (OPGW). The OPGW keeps our system smart by providing a communication channel to transmit 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. The project meets Xcel Energy system needs by installing new fire-resistant steel poles.
Since fall 2021, Xcel Energy has been working with communities, affected landowners, and other stakeholders to identify and evaluate a range of transmission line route alternatives for the Project, which have been documented in a transmission line routing study. 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 affected landowners. Our routing study evaluated approximately 180 miles of route links, which were connected to form nine end-to-end route alternatives.
We continue to consider community input throughout the planning, engineering and permitting phases of the Alamosa to Antonito Transmission Line Rebuild Project. We evaluated feedback from the public and affected landowners and are pursuing a Modified Proposed Route for the electric transmission line in the central portion of the Project around La Jara.
Xcel Energy will submit two land use permit applications in 2023 for Project approval, one application to Alamosa County and one application to Conejos County. Public hearings will be scheduled before the:
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 this project website. Pending permit approval, construction of the project is scheduled to begin in 2024.
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 may affect your property.
Please call the project hotline at 1-855-839-8865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Alamosa to Antonito Routing Study Display Boards - Nov 2021 Open House (PDF)
How the System Works (PDF)
Birds and Power Lines (PDF)
Easement Acquisition (PDF)
Overhead vs. Underground (PDF)
Safety Around Power Lines (PDF)
Siting and Routing (PDF)
Transmission EMF (PDF)
Transmission Line Construction (PDF)
Wildfire Mitigation Plans (PDF)
Working with Landowners (PDF)