Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), an Xcel Energy company, has been contemplating upgrades to the transmission system in Weld County since 2007 with a proposal for an Ault-Cherokee Project, which could provide transmission to Energy Resource Zone 1 for SB100. Since the plan for that project originated at Ault and had the potential to impact a critical transmission path known as TOT7, or WECC Path 40, the project has a regional impact. PSCo recognized the potential of any new plans in the area to help meet reliability and load growth north of the Denver-Metro area, particularly for the city of Greeley and the Weld County area. From 2012 to 2014, the plans were renamed the TOT7 Transmission Expansion. PSCo announced that any proposed project would go through the WECC Project Coordination Review and Project Rating Review processes. In 2015, the planning effort was renamed the Weld County Expansion to alleviate confusion that the primary focus was to improve the TOT7 transfer path. The transmission planning takes place through the Northeast Colorado Subcommittee (“NECO”) of the Colorado Coordinated Planning Group. The objectives of the NECO and the Weld County Transmission Expansion are to develop a coordinated transmission plan that will facilitate load growth, improve reliability in and around Greeley, provide access to potential resources in ERZ 1, and complement longer-term transmission projects in northeast Colorado.
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