Xcel Energy Improves Central Plainview Lines

PLAINVIEW, TX (NEWS RELEASE) - Parts of central Plainview, including the historic downtown area, are getting a $2.5 million electrical update as Xcel Energy crews upgrade the voltage of local distribution lines to add more capacity and make the grid more reliable.

The improvement area includes downtown and the residential area between Columbia Street west to Lexington Street and Sixth Street north to 15th Street. Work started earlier in the summer to upgrade substations, lines and transformers in this area to 15-kilovolt service, which is the standard distribution voltage in other parts of the city. Currently this central area is served by a 3-kilovolt system that predates facilities in other area neighborhoods.

The flow of electric current is measured in amps, which can be likened to water moving through pipes. Voltage is much like pressure in water pipes, and is what allows amps to flow over power lines. The Plainview upgrade is increasing the “electrical pressure” of the lines that serve the neighborhood.

“By upgrading the voltage, the lines will be capable of serving larger loads without concern of straining the system,” said Chris LeFevre, manager for Community and Economic Development in Plainview. “And by upgrading to a standard voltage, we have more options to tap adjoining 15-kilovolt neighborhoods in the event of outages. This, plus the fact that we have more replacement parts for a 15-kilovolt system, should speed restoration times.”

The area where the conversion is taking place receives its electricity supply from the Plainview City Substation along Columbia Street south of 16th Street. Once the conversion is completed, the new power source for this central area will be the Kiser Substation, which was completed as part of a transmission upgrade in 2014. Kiser Substation is located near East 24th Street and Date Street.

LeFevre pointed out that Xcel Energy is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade and modernize the power grid, not just in Plainview, but around the region. And a systematic upgrade of the older, lower-voltage distribution systems is a key part of that strategy. Xcel Energy has served Plainview since 1942, and while parts on the substations and lines have been replaced over the years, some facilities serving the older sections of the city date back decades.

“Our energy future in Xcel Energy’s southwest region is dependent upon timely investments in the facilities that generate and deliver power to our customers,” LeFevre said. “The benefits of a project like the Plainview conversion will bring value to our customers for decades to come.”

Xcel Energy expects to have the Plainview voltage conversion completed by December.

About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

(News release from Xcel Energy)

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