Xcel Energy’s $2 billion transmission line meant to carry renewable energy power across Colorado was approved by the state’s public utility regulators.
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved the project called Colorado’s Power Pathway, a 650-mile stretch of high transmission lines from northern Colorado to the southeast reported The Denver Post.
The project will include four new and four expanded substations with the first segments in-service by 2025. Other segments should be completed in 2026 and 2027.
Excel stated the project will carry approximately 5,500 megawatts of new wind, solar and other power the company plans to add through 2030 to meet the state’s growing electricity needs. The 345-kilovolt system will connect eastern Colorado to the Front Range.
“This project will help us continue on our path to reducing carbon emissions in Colorado more than 85% by 2030, deliver low-cost, renewable energy, and improve the grid’s resilience and reliability,” said Robert Kenney, the new president of Xcel Energy-Colorado.
Excel is Colorado’s largest electric utility and most of its wind and solar energy operations are in the eastern part of the state. The project even had the support of the environmental group Western Resource Advocates whose managing senior policy adviser is Gwen Farnsworth.
“The Colorado’s Power Pathway is really critical for reliable, clean energy in the state going forward. It increases the capacity to host new renewable resources in Colorado,” said Farnsworth who claims the project’s design of loops will result in improved distribution and reliability.