Major developments in potash mining, oil and natural gas extraction and other commercial growth have prompted Xcel Energy to develop an infrastructure expansion plan for southeastern New Mexico.
To plan for future transmission needs, Southwestern Public Service Co., an Xcel Energy company, worked with the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) on a High Priority Incremental Load Study that developed cost effective solutions for the incremental oil and natural gas load additions in several regions, including southeastern New Mexico.
On April 29, 2014, SPP approved the issuance of 44 new Notices to Construct (NTC) at an estimated cost of $557 million. All but one of the NTC projects that Xcel Energy has agreed to build are located in southeast New Mexico. These NTCs provide for the expanded transmission infrastructure (see map) through 2020 including:
In 2015, over 250 miles of new transmission and distribution lines and seven new substations were energized in New Mexico. Dozens of other projects are being planned or are under construction in the region.