PUC approves SOCO transmission project without condition

A proposal by Tri-State Generation and Transmission and Xcel Energy to build a single transmission project from the San Luis Valley to Pueblo (known as the San Luis Valley – Calumet – Comanche Transmission Project) cleared an important hurdle on February 11, when state regulators determined a need for the line and rejected a condition that threatened Xcel Energy’s backing.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) did not adopt a condition recommended by an administrative law judge last November calling for a refund to ratepayers by Xcel Energy if the line does not carry 700 megawatts of new generation 10 years after completion.  Instead, the Commission gave the green light to a 150-mile, $180 million transmission line designed to bolster reliability and carry solar and wind energy from the San Luis Valley over La Veta Pass to the Front Range.

“It’s hard to vote against what some call consumer protection, but this isn’t consumer protection,” PUC chairman Ron Binz said. “It’s a backstop for a regulatory agency that’s unsure what it’s doing.”

The transmission project was proposed jointly by Tri-State and Xcel as a way to shore up the reliability of the valley’s aging power delivery infrastructure to the state’s ever-increasing population, and as a means to meet renewable energy state mandates through the export of wind and solar energy from Southern Colorado.

1 Response to “PUC approves SOCO transmission project without condition”

  • As a SLV resident-we have always said this line was nothing but a smoke screen for supposed export of “clean renewable energy”…and had little to do with answering our reliability issues in an economic and environmental manner. Please refer to http://www.slvjunction.com and http://slvrenewablecommunities.blogspot.com for a more balanced perspective of the “opposition”…which really want renewables done well, correctly and to their fullest potential…all around the state!

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