Glenwood Springs – Mitchell Creek Electric Transmission Line Rebuild Project
Project Overview and Need
Xcel Energy’s Transmission Project
The electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power generation facilities and transmission lines that deliver energy to local communities. In Glenwood Springs, transmission lines owned by Xcel Energy deliver electricity to the Glenwood Springs Electric Department’s substations and distribution system, which then serves local users. Glenwood Springs Electric Department purchases wholesale wind power from the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) to serve the city’s power needs.
Need to Rebuild
One of Xcel Energy’s electric transmission lines that provides power to Glenwood Springs runs 2.25 miles between the Glenwood Springs Substation (northeast of the Glenwood Hot Springs pool) and Mitchell Creek Substation (northwest of the Glenwood Meadows shopping center). This line was originally built in the 1940s and a portion was rebuilt in the 1960s. We have determined this line must be rebuilt because it has reached the end of its useful life. The line will be rebuilt to current design standards that include additional measures to reduce wildfire risk. This project will ensure continued safe, reliable electric service to our customers in Western Colorado. Replacement of the line is anticipated to begin in 2021.
Location and Design
The existing line location was set more than 70 years ago, when about 10,000 people lived in Garfield County, compared to about 60,000 today. Limited access to the Glenwood Springs-Mitchell Creek transmission line makes construction and maintenance challenging. We’ve studied alternatives for the electric line location, and evaluated technical design requirements and potential impacts on the environment, community, residents and businesses in Glenwood Springs. Rebuilding the line along the current route would use the existing transmission line corridor and access routes where possible.
The rebuilt transmission line will be constructed with steel monopole structures. The height and final design of the structures depends on location and conditions such as slope, soil conditions and distance between poles. The new poles are expected to be placed within existing easements or rights-of-way, but additional easements may be required in some areas to ensure construction and operational safety and to provide access to the transmission line.