Pawnee-Daniels Park Project

Estimated in-service date: 2019
Voltage: 345 kV line
Estimated length: 125 miles
Estimated cost: $178 million

The Pawnee-Daniels Park project includes the construction of 125 miles of 345 kilovolt (kV) double circuit transmission line between Pawnee Substation, near Brush, CO, and the Daniels Park Substation, south of the Denver-metro area, as well as one new 345kV substation and expansion of five other 230 kV and 345 kV substations. Construction is underway on portions of the project. The in-service date is October 2019. View project update.

Construction Update

Construction on a small portion of the Pawnee-Daniels Park Transmission Line has been taking place over the last few weeks, which is to support the Rush Creek wind farm. The work is taking place in between the existing Smoky Hill Substation and the newly constructed Harvest Mile Substation, located south of Quincy Avenue, west of Gun Club Road and just north of the Tollgate Crossing Subdivision

Due to system reliability constraints, the contractor has been limited to some night time outages for a couple nights during the week of September 17th as well as the entire week of September 24th; no weekend work is currently planned. The reason they are limited to night outages is because there needs to be dead line holds (outages) on both of the existing on site 230kV lines to do wire crossings for the new line/circuits being installed. Due to the major curtailment that is already taking place with other outages on the system, the only time we are allowed to take these lines out of service is between midnight and 8 AM. Both Xcel Energy and our contractors don’t prefer to work during the night but in this case, we don’t have any choice as we cannot take the required outages during the daytime peak load hours.  

Complaints have been received by nearby residents and we’ve had a chance to relay them to our contractor. Moving forward, they will do whatever is possible to limit the disturbances to the residents in the immediate area. The lights and radios used by the contractor are of utmost importance for the safety of all the crews. They will be turning down the volume on the radios they use to communicate with one another and will try to limit vehicle traffic as much as possible.   

We will also be working with the Tollgate Crossing HOA in order to provide an update and hope they can post a notice on the HOA website or coordinate a means to provide notice to all of the residents.

In addition to the night work mentioned above, there are also outages scheduled at the existing Smoky Hill substation (located on the east side of Gun Club Road, just south of Quincy Avenue) on October 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th. The work on these nights will be limited and will take place inside of the substation.

Our apologies for the inconvenience but please feel free to contact us with any other questions.

The transmission line construction scope of work is divided into 12 segments including a 20 mile double circuit 345 kV line between the new Harvest Mile Substation in Aurora to Daniels Park Substation. Construction on the 20-mile Harvest Mile-Daniels Park segment will start in January 2019. Construction started on the Harvest Mile Substation in May 2017. Construction continues on the 30 mile segment between Missile Site Substation and Smoky Hill Substation and includes the construction of new single pole 345 kV double circuit structures/line and the removal (or wreck-out) of older 230kV wood h-frame structures. Six of the 12 transmission line segments are complete or are under construction. View project map.

Project Need

The project is required to facilitate future generation development (including Xcel Energy's Rush Creek Wind Generation Project). It will help support Resource Planning predictions for other generation development in the region, meets SB-100 requirements for Energy Resource Zones (ERZ) 1 and 2, and improve system reliability.

Regulatory and Permit Approvals

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity application for the project on April 9, 2015.

The CPCN included an in-service date for the project of May 2022 with construction beginning in 2020. However, in late 2015, Congress extended the Production Tax Credit for new wind generation projects, but with a declining recovery schedule for projects that start construction after 2016. As a result of this, Xcel Energy filed with the CPUC asking them to modify their previous decision in order to accelerate the in-service date to October 2019 and the construction start date to January 2019 for the Harvest Mile-Daniels Park portion of the project. In September 2016 we, along with multiple parties, agreed to a settlement that included moving the in-service date to 2019. The settlement agreement received final approval October 2016. View the settlement agreements. Advancing the in-service date of the Pawnee-Daniels Park project will help ensure that customers reap the tax credit benefits which significantly reduce the cost of wind generation.

Final local permits were approved for the projects in December, 2017. Permits were obtained with the City of Aurora, Arapahoe County, Douglas County and Town of Parker.

If you have a question or comment surrounding the Pawnee-Daniels Park project please send us a message at

Project Maps

Historical Maps

Pawnee-Daniels Park Project Overview Video

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