XCEL Energy completes project to upgrade Roswell electric grid

Published on May 07, 2019 by Kevin Randolph

© Shutterstock

Xcel Energy recently completed a multi-year project to upgrade the power grid in Roswell, N.M.

“The improvements we’ve made over the last several years are boosting the reliability of the city’s electrical system and bringing a more abundant supply of power into areas where it’s needed the most,” Mike McLeod, regional manager for Community and Economic Development in Roswell, said. “This gives our city a leg up as we work to expand businesses, create new ones, and make our neighborhoods more livable.”

The final project involved upgrading the electrical system serving Roswell International Air Center (RIAC) to a higher voltage. Xcel Energy invested more than $11 million in the RIAC project.

This RIAC upgrade, along with other projects across the city, was made possible by a $24 million project to upgrade key substations and build a new high-voltage transmission loop around the city that was completed in 2018.

One of the new substation, Sierra Substation, is located on the northern edge of RIAC. Sierra takes power at 115 kilovolts from the new transmission loop and replaces three older substations in the RIAC footprint.

As work on the new substation was being completed, Xcel Energy began to upgrade lines and transformers at RIAC to 15-kilovolt service. Previously, the area was served by a 4-kilovolt system.

“By upgrading the voltage, the lines will be capable of serving larger loads without concern of straining the system,” McLeod said. “We also have more options to tap adjoining 15-kilovolt neighborhoods in the event of outages. This, plus the fact that we have more replacement parts for a 15-kilovolt system, should speed restoration times.”