Northern Colorado Area Plan

WAPA Ault to Cloverly Transmission Line

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

The Northern Colorado Area Plan would increase generation 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 25 miles of new 115-kilovolt (kV) and 230-kV transmission line between the Western Area Power Authority (WAPA) Ault Substation and a location northeast of Greeley where the new 115-kV transmission lines connects to Xcel Energy's existing 115-kV line near the Cloverly Substation. The project also includes construction of two new substations and the expansion of two existing substation facilities. The proposed project is the first step in replacing the existing 44-kV infrastructure throughout the region with higher voltage facilities. The 44-kV system is one of the oldest transmission assets owned by Xcel Energy, with infrastructure dating back to the early 1900's. Pending approvals, the project is expected to be completed by 2020.

Project Overview Map

Schedule (Pending Approval)

2018 - File local, state, federal permits
2019 - Begin construction
2020 - Project placed in-service

Regulatory Filings

Xcel Energy filed a Certificate of Public Convenience and necessity (CPCN) application with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on March 9, 2017 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. Xcel Energy anticipates filing for development permit approvals with Weld County and the Town of Ault.

Project Components

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

  • 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. Husky is expected to be located west of the existing Xcel Energy 44 kV Ault Substation (different than the substation of the same name operated by WAPA). The transmission will be approximately four miles long and built double-circuit 230 kV capable. Only one circuit will initially be installed and operated at 230 kV.
  • Husky Substation
    • This new substation will replace the Xcel Energy Ault 44 kV Substation, which will be decommissioned. The Husky Substation will also accommodate distribution upgrades that increase reliability.
  • Husky - Graham Creek 115 kV line
    • The new line will be approximately seven miles and be built double-circuit 230 kV capable. 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 will be decommissioned. The Graham Creek Substation will be constructed to accommodate distribution upgrades and improve system reliability.
  • Cloverly Substation (Upgrade)
    • Two transformers will be added to the Cloverly Substation as part of the termination of the new line from Graham Creek and to allow for future load interconnection requests. The Cloverly modifications will also accommodate distribution upgrades. Cloverly Substation will eventually replace the Pleasant Valley Substation, which will be decommissioned.

Contact Us

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

Additional Information

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
Northern Colorado Area Plan Fact Sheet
Transmission Infrastructure

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