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Xcel Energy in Texas Upgrades Substations Ensure Continued Reliability

Dec. 19, 2022
Over the past several years the company has built multiple new substations and expanded others in the Amarillo and Canyon metro area that have improved power flow on distribution networks during peak times of the year.

Electricity customers in the Texas Panhandle have been largely spared from grid reliability issues experienced in other parts of the state, and Xcel Energy’s ongoing investments in the electric distribution network are key factors in ensuring the region’s grid is reliable for years to come.

Over the past several years the company has built multiple new substations and expanded others in the Amarillo and Canyon metro area that have improved power flow on distribution networks during peak times of the year, and two additional substation projects will be completed by year’s end with two more in the works. New substations are also being planned in Dumas and Dalhart in 2023, and the company continues to replace aging poles and wires across the Texas Panhandle service area.

“The distribution system is made up of substations and lines that move power directly to our customers,” said Adrian J. Rodriguez, president, Xcel Energy – Texas. “As our customer base grows and as businesses use more electricity, it’s vital to ensure the system keeps pace with these changes. Equally as important is making sure the lights can stay on no matter what nature throws at us, and these ongoing system investments have proved their worth during multiple extreme weather events the past two years.”

Several new projects reflect Amarillo’s growth in both established and newer parts of town. The Lawrence Park Substation, located behind the MarketStreet supermarket near Southwest 26th Avenue and Georgia Street, serves west-central Amarillo neighborhoods developed in the 1950s and 1960s. Xcel Energy also has a large number of commercial customers in this area. Summertime demand had begun to push existing facilities to capacity, leading Xcel Energy to build a new, larger substation next to the old facility at the cost of $20.1 million, ensuring a reliable power source for customers in this area for decades to come.

In far southwest Amarillo, where new businesses, schools, churches and homes are coming online at a rapid pace, Xcel Energy is completing the $12.6 million Preston West Substation and associated distribution lines southeast of the intersection of Coulter Street and Loop 335 (Hollywood Road). The new substation has been designed for expansion as electricity demand increases. In addition to serving new growth in that area, Preston West will free up capacity at the nearby Estacado and Spring Draw substations, ensuring growth can continue without the concern of overloading existing facilities.

“Deciding when to add a new substation, and where it should be located, is an involved process since these facilities are expensive to build and will need to be in service for decades,” said Perry Foster, Xcel Energy’s regional director for Substation Operations and Maintenance in Amarillo. “We have an experienced team that is constantly analyzing trends in customer needs, and they’ve done a terrific job upgrading our system to manage current and future growth.”

Since 2020, three other substations – Center Port, Hunsley and Western Street – have been placed into service in the metro area. Additional expansions and upgrades are planned in 2023 and 2024 for Amarillo and outlying cities, including:

  • The new Echo Substation, under construction off Echo Street northeast of the Northeast 24th Avenue and Mirror Street intersection, to boost reliability in North Amarillo
  • The new Arnot Substation, planned east of Arnot Road between Interstate 40 and Hollywood Road, boosting reliability and capacity in the Bushland and west Amarillo area
  • An expansion of Farmers Substation on South Georgia Street at Farmers Avenue
  • The planned Ashby Substation in eastern Dalhart, which will provide capacity to serve new commercial customers and provide additional switching options to keep power flowing when extreme weather threatens reliability
  • The new Demon Substation east of Dumas, designed to relieve pressure on existing substations in central Dumas that are reaching maximum capacity during peak usage times

Improvements in the distribution grid are taking place against the backdrop of Xcel Energy’s expansion of clean energy resources while ensuring the reliability and affordability of electric service across the company’s Texas-New Mexico system. More information on these initiatives can be found at

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