Xcel proposes yet another new site for Silverthorne substation | VailDaily.com

Xcel proposes yet another new site for Silverthorne substation

Julie Sutor
summit daily news

Summit Daily/Mark FoxXcel says it needs a new substation in the Silverthorne area, similar to this one in Frisco being worked on during a power outage last winter.

SILVERTHORNE – Xcel Energy has identified a new site for a proposed electric-power substation in the Silverthorne area. The utility says it needs the proposed facility, dubbed the Ptarmigan Substation, to meet future electricity demands and to prevent power outages in the area.

The proposed site is located on the east side of Highway 9 about a mile-and-a-half north of the Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Xcel is no longer considering two previously proposed sites, at Angler Mountain Ranch and the Daley Ranch, citing issues with grading and technology requirements that would have made either site too costly, according to Xcel’s Larry Claxton.

Xcel’s Dillon and Summit substations now serve customers in the Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillon and Keystone areas. The company says electrical load growth in these areas has been steady, and it projects 2 to 3 percent annual growth in the future. Also, distribution lines serving the Silverthorne area are more than 4 miles long, contributing to a greater-than-average number of power outages there.

Xcel projects the Dillon and Summit substations will “reach capacity to reliably serve the Silverthorne area” by fall 2012, according to a public notice it issued Thursday.

“Thus, it is important to have a new electric distribution substation approved, constructed and operational within this time,” Claxton wrote in the notice.

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The company will hold a public open house Aug. 12 to provide more information on the proposed project and to answer questions.

“Public input is very important to our process, so please plan to attend the upcoming open house and share this notification with others,” Claxton wrote.

Previously proposed sites for the Ptarmigan Substation drew opposition last year from some Silverthorne-area residents, calling themselves the Lower Blue Citizens Alliance, who became concerned with impacts to views, property values and the environment.

SDN reporter Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or jsutor@summitdaily.com.