Northern Colorado Area Plan

WAPA Ault to Cloverly Transmission Line

115/230 kV line
Estimated cost:
$65 million
Target in-service:

Project Overview

The Northern Colorado Area Plan would increase electric transmission capacity, enhance electric reliability and expand load-serving capability of the Xcel Energy electric transmission system north of Greeley.

The proposed project includes building approximately 20 miles of new 115/230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Western Area Power Authority (WAPA) Ault Substation and a location northeast of Greeley where the new 115/230-kV transmission line connects to Xcel Energy's existing 115-kV line near the Cloverly Substation. The project also includes construction of two new substations and the improvement of two existing substation facilities. The project is the first step in a comprehensive plan to upgrade the region’s infrastructure and modernize the transmission system. Pending approvals, the project is expected to be complete in 2021.

Public Hearings Scheduled

Planning Commission Hearing

February 5, 12:30 pm
1150 O Street, Greeley, CO

Board of County Commissioners Hearing

February 27, 10 am
1150 O Street, Greeley, CO

Project Area

The preferred and alternate transmission line routes are shown on the map below. The two new substations will be located near Ault and Eaton and will replace two existing 44k kV substations. The alternative transmission route corridors are shown on the map conceptually, but the transmission line will only require a 100 to 150-foot right-of-way.

Project Overview Map

Schedule (Pending Approval)

2018 - File local, state, federal permits
2019 - Begin construction
2020 - Begin construction of transmission line
2021 - Project completed

Project Permits and Public Hearings

Xcel Energy filed a 1041 permit with Weld County in August 2018 to determine approval and final route of the proposed transmission lines. You can review the application on the Weld County website by clicking on "Search Applications" under the "Planning" heading and entering USR18-0100 in the "Record Number" field. Then under "Record Info", click on "Attachments".

The planning and zoning hearing is scheduled for December 18 and the board of county commissioners hearing will be on January 23, 2019 (details above).

A Site Plan submittal with the Town of Ault is targeted for the end of October, 2018.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) application on March 1, 2018 to allow Xcel Energy to construct the Northern Colorado Area Plan.

When proposing a high-voltage transmission line project, investor-owned utilities must file a CPCN application with the CPUC. You can review all regulatory filings on the CPUC web site by entering 17A-0146E in the 'Proceeding Number' field. The CPCN process allows the Company to proceed with implementation, but does not decide the specific routes and locations of the transmission lines and substations. Those issues are determined through a separate local government siting process.

Project Components

The proposed Northern Colorado Area Transmission Project consists of the following components:

  • WAPA Ault - Husky 230 kV transmission line
    • The line will be built from the existing Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Ault Substation to a new Xcel Energy Husky Substation. The new transmission would be approximately seven miles long and built double-circuit 230 kV capable. Only one circuit will initially be installed and operated at 115 kV.
  • Husky Substation
    • This new substation would replace the Xcel Energy Ault 44 kV Substation, which would be decommissioned. The Husky Substation would accommodate distribution upgrades that improve system reliability. 
  • Husky - Graham Creek 115kV line
    • The new line would be approximately 7.7 miles and be built double-circuit 230 kV cable. Only one circuit will initially be installed and operated at 115 kV.
  • Graham Creek Substation
    • This new substation will replace the Xcel Energy Eaton 44 kV Substation, which would be decommissioned. The Graham Creek Substation would accommodate distribution upgrades and improve system reliability. 
  • Graham Creek-Cloverly 115 kV line
    • The new line would be approximately eleven miles and be built double-circuit 230 kV capable. Only one circuit will initially be installed and operated at 115 kV. Eight miles of that new transmission line will be built double-circuit 230 kV capable. The remaining three miles are already constructed to 115 kV capable.

Contact Us

Email or call us at 888.678.7640. You can also submit your comments using a comment form.

Additional Information

Northern Colorado Area Plan Fact Sheet
April 2018 Direct Mail Piece
Project Schedule
January 2018 Direct Mail Piece
October 2017 Direct Mail Piece
Siting and Permitting
EMF Fact Sheet
Birds and Power Lines
Safety Around Powerlines
Working with Landowners
Overhead vs. Underground
Transmission Line Construction Process
Transmission Infrastructure
Project Need
Siting Criteria

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