Silverthorne Xcel substation still up in the air |

Silverthorne Xcel substation still up in the air

summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – It appears Xcel Energy has taken complaints about its proposed Ptarmigan substation to heart – the energy conglomerate announced Thursday that it’s rethinking its substation technology, design, size and even the potential location.

Xcel Energy also scheduled its second open house Aug. 5, to provide the first bit of definitive news about the proposed substation for Silverthorne since February. The meeting is set from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Silverthorne Pavilion.

“Our meeting will focus on two sites, although all of the nearly two dozen sites remain in play,” said Mark Stutz, an Xcel spokesman, noting that the company essentially has different proposals than before. “We will introduce a new type of technology for the substation design, which changes our requirements for the size and location of the site, when compared to a traditional substation.”

According to Stutz, one of the two proposed sites at this meeting wasn’t presented at the last meeting in February. Xcel has, through its research, identified nearly two dozen potential sites, though only a few have been shown to the public.

Xcel representatives will address some of the questions presented by the Lower Blue River Citizens Alliance and others. Additional questions will be answered “later in the more appropriate forum, when we submit applications to either the county or town for land use rights,” Stutz said.

The Lower Blue River Citizens Alliance – formed to fight Xcel Energy’s proposed substation sites on the Daley and TYL ranches – met recently to discuss its questions for Xcel.

“Everybody had been asking question about the capabilities of the present plans,” said C.J. Julin, an Alliance spokesperson. “Where did they come up with the need for another substation?”

According to Xcel representatives, there’s been a need for a new substation for more than a decade because of Silverthorne’s annual growth. Yet, Julin recently said he wondered if growth in Silverthorne has been affected by the down economy.

“Let’s verify what the true need is,” Julin said.

Alliance members have been asking for a public process with Xcel since forming this year, where everyone can express their views and be heard. And a main aim of Alliance representatives is to meet with Xcel representatives to discuss other options for a substation that won’t destroy views in the Lower Blue area.

To read an article about the how the Lower Blue River Citizens Alliance formed, visit: To find out some history about the proposed substation, visit

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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