Xcel Energy Transmission Line Rebuild Project

Xcel Energy is proposing to rebuild the existing 11-mile transmission line between the Hopkins and Basalt substations in Eagle and Garfield counties. The transmission line was originally built more than 100 years ago and is reaching the end of its useful life. The line will be rebuilt to  improve electric service to homes and businesses in the area, while also meeting the community’s current needs and future growth.

Approximately five miles of the line are located in Eagle County, with the remaining infrastructure in Garfield County; about half of the project is located on property managed by the Bureau of Land Management with the rest located on private property.

KMOHR 's current position on this project:

The transmission lines should be not eliminated but should be rebuilt using the safest technology currently available to protect this fragile environment. 

KMOHR Poll Outcome

After compiling results of the recent poll where we measured awareness and preferences regarding this project, we attended the October 18 Informational Meeting  at Roaring Fork High School. We came to the meeting with verbal recommendations and preferences from the poll.  

We spoke with Xcel staff at length. We soon learned that is very unlikely that the project will underground the transmission lines, that community outreach by Xcel is a courtesy, and that Xcel staff and experts are available to us for information, questions, and concerns. Staff took the time to discuss what KMOHR can do to implement our position on this project.  

We developed the FAQ below to pass along pertinent information shared by Xcel, and to provide informal poll results.  Also, we've permanently closed the poll.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. We have Holy Cross. Does this apply to us?

A1. There are two kinds of power lines 1) Transmission (longer range) and Distribution (neighborhood).

This project is about Transmission lines which are long range lines (owned by Xcel). Distribution lines deliver electricity to neighborhoods and communities over a shorter distance than transmission lines. 

Holy Cross buys SOME of their electricity from Xcel Energy. Cost increases resulting from this project would be spread across all customers (per regulations) and would be negligible or non-existent for Missouri Heights residents. 

"The only relationship Missouri Heights has with Xcel Energy is the lines going over their heads. It's in everyone's best interest to build these in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Utilities spend a huge amount of resources "safely keeping the lights on"  ~Holy Cross engineering.

This is an Xcel project to rebuild transmission lines. Click on this link to see a project map.

More information is available here.

Q2. Is the plan to rebuild the existing overhead lines, set in stone?

A2. Yes, the plan is pretty much set in stone. It is not practical nor cost-effective unless there’s a compelling reason to underground the transmission lines such as high density residential development, commercial center, or other significant urban development. Utility lines in Garfield County, Mesa County, Pitkin County, and in rural areas are aboveground. Undergrounding is not a precedent that the utility companies will let happen unless there is a real solid reason to do so. 

Q3. What can neighbors do to ensure safety and low environmental impact of this rebuild?

A3. Our activities are best focused on mitigating visual impacts, ensuring that proper construction techniques are used, and that fire mitigation is carefully evaluated. 

Q4. What can I do to monitor this project and participate in the process?

A4. Check the Xcel project website for updates, read the documents and information posted there. Contact Xcel directly with questions and comments. HopkinstoBasalt@XcelEnergy.com or call 303-571-6503

Check the Garfield County Land Use Applications Under Review, attend hearings, submit public comments. More information on Eagle County permitting will be coming soon.

Q5. Although the poll report "didn't see the light of day" what did it say?

A5. See an "information only" copy of the draft report here.