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Crews Battle Heat, Make Progress On New Xcel Energy 345-Kilovolt Transmission Line

Though groundbreaking only happened four months ago, crews working on Xcel Energy’s Hobbs-China Draw transmission project in southeast New Mexico have already made substantial progress on the 86-mile, 345-kilovolt line. Since mid-April, 60 percent of the foundations for the line have already been built, and H-frame structures and conductor wire have started to be installed as well. The progress is even more remarkable considering the recent unfavorable weather conditions in the region. “Hot weather has been the biggest challenge,” Project Manager Donnie TeBeest said. “They’ve seen quite a bit of 100-degree days, and some of them have been over 105.` The Hobbs-China Draw project is one of four segments of the TUCO-China Draw 345-kilovolt transmission line project, which is designed to connect southeast New Mexico and Texas with one 240-mile transmission corridor. TUCO Substation is located north of Lubbock and China Draw Substation is located south of Carlsbad. The application for the remainder of the New Mexico portion of the line – a segment connecting the Hobbs Plant Substation to the Texas state line – was filed in late June with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. The whole TUCO-China Draw project is expected to be complete by 2020, and the estimated cost of the project is $400 million.




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