Thornton Substation Project

Project Update

The new Thornton Substation near East 120th Avenue and Holly Street is now providing safe and reliable energy to the Thornton community.

Construction of the substation and underground electric transmission line began in summer 2018 and was recently completed. Final land restoration work around the substation and overhead-to-underground transition structures is ongoing and will be complete in the spring of 2020.

Thornton Substation serves existing residential and business customers and provides capacity for future growth and development in the area.

Xcel Energy partnered with the community to design the Thornton Substation which includes an exterior architectural wall and landscaping throughout the site.

Thank you for your support during planning and construction of this important project.

Please call the project hotline at 844.551.6281 or email with any questions or concerns.

Project Purpose

The City of Thornton has doubled in population over the past decade, with new shopping centers, the construction of the RTD North Metro Rail Line (N Line), and business and residential growth. To support this growing community and increased demand for electricity, Xcel Energy built the first substation in Thornton since 1992. The new substation provides improved system flexibility and stability, benefiting the whole Thornton community, and will fuel the local economy by providing a reliable source of electric power for developers and businesses.

Project History

The need for a substation in Thornton was identified in 2008, to serve homes and businesses that had been experiencing low voltage and capacity issues for many years.

Xcel Energy engineers evaluated more than 40 sites before choosing this particular location. After dozens of meetings with members of the community, the land development permits for the site at East 119th Avenue and Holly Street were approved by Thornton City Council. It offered the greatest distance between homes and the substation equipment, and provided an opportunity to integrate the substation into future development, adjacent to a parcel zoned for commercial use along East 120th Avenue.

Xcel Energy’s application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) was granted by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in April 2015. Thornton City Council approved the substation location and design in July 2017, and the Adams County Planning Commission approved the transition structures in August 2017.

Location and Design

The new, state-of-the-art substation is located on East 119th Avenue, near the intersection of East 120th Avenue and Holly Street. New transition structures, which interconnect the existing 115kV Fort Lupton to Cherokee transmission line and the underground power lines, are located just west of the intersection of East 112th Avenue and Riverdale Road.

Residents’ feedback helped shape the substation site and its design. Electrical equipment is screened from view by an architectural wall designed by the same firm that designed the nearby Anythink Wright Farms Library—using materials such as brick veneer, metal panels in accent colors, architectural steel and precast concrete.

All power lines into and out of the substation are underground. In the landscaped buffer area, shade trees, grassy areas and sidewalks soften the view of the substation from the street, make the neighborhood more pleasant to walk, and add to the site’s visual appeal.

Learn More

Please call the project hotline at 844.551.6281 or email with any questions or concerns.