Xcel expands transmission lines in Texas Panhandle - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Xcel expands transmission lines in Texas Panhandle

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Amarillo, TX - Over the next several years, people in the panhandle will see more than $100 million in much-needed upgrades to aging transmission lines - but they probably won't even notice it on their electric bills.

The northeastern Texas panhandle is in the midst of a substantial oil boom right now - and the subsequent growth is testing the limits of a fifty year-old system.

"What we're seeing in the northeastern Panhandle and the eastern Panhandle is a lot of economic growth related to oil and gas and all the related industries that go with that," says Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves, "Plus we have some aging infrastructure in that area that really needed to be upgraded anyway."

As part of a $2 billion investment plan resulting from a 2010 study, Xcel is investing $108.9 million into upgrading and replacing new transmission lines in the panhandle.  And although much of that cost will be passed on to the consumer, the total will be spread out over enough time and customers that the individual impact will be minimal.

"This 108 million dollars is not all being charged directly to our customers," says Reeves, "because we are in a power-sharing pool, and these costs are allocated out to our customers and also customers in the neighboring areas who benefit from these transmission improvements."

Xcel is also investing another $25 million in upgrades in eastern New Mexico.

You can find more specifics about the project itself and where exactly the lines will be built at the links attached to this story.