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Xcel completes New Mexico power loop to account for oil and gas demand

An electrical transmission line connecting Eddy and Lea counties was completed as Xcel Energy continued efforts to increase power infrastructure in southeast New Mexico to adapt to increased demand in the growing area.

Booming oil and gas production and operations in the Permian Basin area, and the subsequent population increase brought on by economic growth were chief factors in the need for a larger power grid, said David Hudson, president of Xcel’s Texas and New Mexico operations.

The 345-kilovolt line will connect Xcel’s China Draw Substation about 22 miles south of Carlsbad to its Roadrunner Station 23 miles northwest of Jal.

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Xcel also built its Phantom Substation at the midpoint of the line, which completed a loop between the two counties aimed at increasing regional carry capacity for power fed by a main line from Texas.