Xcel Energy has invested $2.8 million in a backup power solution for four rural communities in the north-eastern Texas that speeds restoration times when storms or road accidents interrupt service on Xcel's main electric feeder line.
“Our customers in that area have been hard-hit by extreme weather over the years, and it often has resulted in long-duration outages because we’ve had no way to back power in from another direction while repairs are made,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – Texas. “But with help from our friends, we’ve found a cost-effective solution that has already proven its worth.”
Xcel engineers had been working on plans for a backup option involving an alternate power source farther down the line. The solution was a tap on a transmission line owned by North Plains Electric Co-op near the co-op's existing Shattuck Substation.
Skunk Creek, a new Xcel substation, has been built near the North Plains facility and gives Xcel the ability to move power from the co-op's transmission line onto the distribution line that serves four Lipscomb County communities in the case of damage farther up the main distribution feed.
“We are grateful for the cooperation of city and county officials in this area, and the willingness of North Plains Co-op to assist us in devising this backup option,” Hudson said. “By working with our neighbors, we’ve been able to find a viable solution at a fraction of the cost of building a new transmission connection to another Xcel Energy facility.”
Source: ABC 7