Xcel Energy’s three-year-long effort to build a 240-mile superhighway for high-voltage electricity between West Texas and southeastern New Mexico is a major achievement of Xcel Energy’s Power for the Plains grid enhancement initiative.

The transmission line boosts economic prospects in Texas and New Mexico with abundant and affordable electricity.

“It is a historic achievement for our employees and contractors that benefits our communities and customers for decades with an ample supply of low-cost electricity,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas.

The 345-kilovolt transmission line runs between the TUCO Substation north of Abernathy, Texas, in the heart of the South Plains agriculture and oil industries, and the China Draw Substation southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico, in one of the nation’s richest oil and gas producing areas.

Noteworthy video: Transmission project highlights with praise from legislators and community leaders.

TUCO-Yoakum-Hobbs Transmission Project Completion


TUCO-Yoakum-Hobbs Transmission Project Completion

“The TUCO-China Draw project is part of a decade-long transmission build-out that is powering the expansion of the region’s core industries while delivering savings to all our customers in the form of lower energy costs,” Hudson said.

“We are focusing resources on projects that will not only provide our communities the safe, clean, abundant and affordable power they require for development but also keep the cost of electricity at or below the rate of inflation,” Hudson said.

The transmission line strengthens connections to the Southwest Power Pool, a wider power market taking in portions of 14 states across the central United States. Xcel Energy can tap abundant and economical sources of electricity that have lowered purchased power costs by as much as $60 million annually.

(Pictured: Foundation building on the TUCO-China Draw 345-kilovolt transmission line.)

The Power for the Plains transmission investment has been a foundational aspect of the strategy, as well as partnering with area leaders to build long-term value in the communities the company serves in Texas and New Mexico.

“Xcel Energy is committing a large amount of capital as a sign of our faith in the economies of eastern New Mexico and West Texas,” Hudson said.

In total, Xcel Energy has invested more than $3 billion in grid and power generating enhancements in Texas and New Mexico since 2011, including a historic expansion of wind energy resources that will put the company on track for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, with an aspiration to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

Xcel Energy brought the project in at 9% under budget, delivering even more long-term savings to customers. Information about the TUCO-China Draw project and other regional transmission improvements can be found at www.powerfortheplains.com.

The TUCO-China Draw project, highlighted here, stands among dozens of new and upgraded substations and transmission lines, part of a decade-long build-out powering the expansion of the region’s core industries.