Xcel Energy to construct new substation

By Christina
Calloway
Senior writer
ccalloway@pntonline.com

Xcel Energy officials said Tuesday they are set to get moving on construction of Portales’ newest substation this summer at the Portales City Council meeting.

Xcel Energy Distribution Design Engineer Matthew Young told councilors the purpose of the project is to confirm placement of a new feeder line within a drainage easement along the south most alleyway of the Oakwood subdivision, directly east of the intersection of South Globe Avenue and East 14th Street.

The project is part of a larger, $24.7 million multi-year project to improve the reliability and capacity of the electric transmission system that serves Portales.

The proposed pole line will follow the south boundary of the drainage easement.

Young said the Kilgore substation will replace the Zodiac substation, which is located near South Globe and Leo Drive.

“The new substation will have an additional circuit breaker, requiring three feeder lines,” Young said. “This location is the most cost effective routing offering a direct line to an existing electrical feeder line located in the west alley of South Globe Street.”

Young touted the benefits of the project, saying that due to the addition of a substation breaker, there will be fewer customers per feeder, which means fewer customers would be out of power if the substation were to switch off a breaker due to a fault.

“This new feeder routing will provide Xcel Energy with the most cost effective solution to enhance system reliability by reducing exposure and increasing switching options,” Young said.

City Councilor Oscar Robinson, who also is a bus driver for Portales Municipal Schools, expressed his concern that the project may cause traffic near Valencia Elementary at an area where parents and buses do pick-ups and drop-offs.

Young told Robinson that the project is expected to be complete by end of summer.