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Xcel finishes $24 million upgrade

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Xcel Energy has announced the completion of a five-year, $24 million system upgrade in the Roswell area that started in 2013. (Submitted Graphic)

Xcel Energy has completed a five-year, $24 million upgrade to the electric transmission system serving Roswell.

In a Wednesday news release, the company said the improvements will help position Roswell for future growth.

The company announced that last week the crews closed the final segment of a 23.7 mile, 115-kilovolt transmission loop that feeds the city’s electric substations. The final link was a 4.7-mile line connecting Price substation to the Chaves County substation in northeast Roswell. The new system replaces an older 69-kilovolt system that had served the city for decades.

Transmission lines transport electricity from power sources into towns, cities and industrial areas. Substations transform electricity to lower voltages and send them along distribution lines that are located up and down city streets and alleys. A kilovolt is equal to 1,000 volts.

“Business and industry, and the jobs they create, are dependent on modern infrastructure that not only meets today’s needs, but also provides the capability of providing higher levels of power as the economy grows,” said Mike McLeod, Xcel Energy regional manager for community and economic development in Roswell. “The looped service also gives us more options to reroute power if we experience outages on any one segment of the line.”

The loop project started in 2013. The Roswell upgrades are part of a larger effort known as “Power for the Plains,” a $1.6 billion project to add 1,300 miles of line across Xcel Energy’s New Mexico and Texas service areas.