Mountain counties face rolling blackouts to shore up fire-damaged natural gas system |

Mountain counties face rolling blackouts to shore up fire-damaged natural gas system

Xcel Energy urges residents of Summit and Grand counties to limit natural gas use Thursday night

Aldo Svaldi
The Denver Post

DENVER — Xcel Energy said Thursday evening that it would intermittently cut electric power in Summit, Grand, Eagle and four other counties to protect the operation of its natural gas system, which suffered damage in the wildfires in Boulder County.

“To decrease the amount of natural gas being used by furnaces in the area and keep the system up and running, the company is putting in place periodic electric outages to customers in Summit, Grand, Lake, Eagle, Saguache, Rio Grande and Alamosa counties for the next 6 to 8 hours,” Xcel said in a news release.

The targeted outages are expected to last about 60 minutes at a time. The state’s largest utility is also asking customers in Summit and Grand counties to conserve natural gas so service throughout the mountain region can be maintained. Xcel, which has shut off natural gas service in Superior and Louisville, said its repair crews haven’t been able to get in to repair damaged infrastructure, which is part of the distribution system that serves the mountain regions to the west.

Ahead of the planned electric outages, impacted customers are urged to turn off all electronics, especially computers and televisions. They are also encouraged to turn down the thermostat, not use gas fireplaces and limit the use of hot water. The company did not have an estimate of how long the conservation efforts will need to go on.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.