New site option arises for Xcel substation | SummitDaily.com

New site option arises for Xcel substation

CAITLIN ROW
summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Lower Blue River Citizens Alliance – a group formed to address issues related to Xcel Energy’s proposed substation to service Silverthorne – will hold an informational meeting Thursday. The location is the Daley Ranch hay barn and it will start at 5 p.m.

C.J. Julin, the spokesman for the Alliance, said the meeting will update the group about the proposed substation sites. It will also give information about a new site on the Oxbow Ranch being proposed by the Alliance.

According to Julin, representatives from the Oxbow Ranch contacted Xcel and offered the energy conglomerate a portion of land just east of Angler Mountain. The site is near site 8, a location Xcel already proposed as a potential site for the new substation at an open house in August.

“Xcel has gone and looked at the land,” Julin said, noting that the Alliance hasn’t heard if Xcel thinks the Oxbow parcel is an acceptable option. “(The Oxbow site) is much more appealing because it’s not nearly as visible. You wouldn’t see it right on the hillside. … It does have some topographical challenges, but it could be done. Xcel would have to study it.”

Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz said the company had looked at sites on Oxbow Ranch, but he didn’t have a comment specifically about the offer. Stutz aslo said Xcel is still on target to have its substation in place by fall 2011.

Xcel identified two locations at its open house at the Silverthorne Pavilion in August for its proposed substation to service Silverthorne – a new location on the Angler Mountain Ranch (site 8), as well as a slightly higher location near the water tower on the Daley Ranch (site 10).

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Both sites, located east of Silverthorne, were presented as preferred sites by Xcel because company representatives said it’s exploring a smaller substation design, using a “better-hidden” technology called a gas-insulated substation.

Xcel officials also remained adamant that a new substation to service Silverthorne is necessary and needs to happen soon.

Preferred sites shown at a February open house on the TYL Ranch and the Daley Ranch were no longer being presented due to the new design’s smaller size. Yet, Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz said at the August open house that no site is technically off the table. Xcel has been exploring almost two dozen sites, though only a few have so far been presented to the public.

For more information about the Lower Blue River Citizens Alliance, visit http://www.lbrca.org.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.