Xcel Energy has announced that the TUCO-to-Woodward transmission project, built between the company's TUCO substation in Texas and the Oklahoma state line, has been energized. In addition to boosting grid reliability, the 345-kV transmission line is expected to provide more export capacity for wind energy generated from area wind farms.
Xcel Energy built the line from TUCO to just east of the Texas-Oklahoma boundary in Beckham County, Okla., and Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. built a segment connecting from Beckham County to Woodward, Okla. The total cost for Xcel's portion of the line is approximately $205 million, shared among the member utilities of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The project is one of 22 improvements grouped in the Power for the Plains enhancement project, which was launched after a 2010 SPP study. Of these 22 projects, 11 have been completed.
"Electricity demand has grown phenomenally across northwest Texas and eastern New Mexico, driving the need for more power and enhanced delivery systems," says David Hudson, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Co., an Xcel Energy company. "These connections boost reliability and save customers money in the long run by opening this region to new power markets."
In addition to the TUCO-Woodward project, Xcel Energy says it currently has more than 1,000 miles of 345-kV projects in permitting and under construction in seven states.