Xcel Energy says large reserves, grid improvements, prepare the area for summer energy demands

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Xcel Energy said it expects reliable service across its Texas-New Mexico service area through the summer heat, because of “investments in generating capacity and
targeted grid improvements.”

“While nothing can be taken for granted, we are confident our system is ready for the hottest days this summer,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “We’ve invested billions of dollars over the past decade in clean energy resources, new and expanded substations and hundreds of miles of new and updated power lines to ensure we have the capacity to meet expected demands on our system.”

Xcel Energy, a part of the Southwest Power Pool, issued its release after a May 6 statement from ERCOT providing its own summer outlook.

ERCOT mentioned “low probability, high-impact situations similar to the February winter event” could happen if demand creates another energy shortage, but Xcel Energy insisted this does will not impact its service area as it is not connected to the Texas power grid.

“Our Texas customers may hear reports of potential power shortages downstate, but it’s important to remember these reports are discussing conditions outside of the Xcel Energy service area,” Hudson said. “From a planning standpoint, we are in a better position in the Panhandle and South Plains than the rest of Texas when it comes to meeting high summer demand.”

Hudson claimed that its expected 20% energy reserve margin, past Texas’ required 12%, and its investments into local distribution will ensure power flows freely on hot days. He cited the Western Street and Hunsley substations in Amarillo, and the Sisko Substation in Carlsbad, as examples of projects designed to help the network’s capacity.

“It’s an ongoing effort to keep our system at peak readiness and to ensure we have the capacity to grow.” Hudson said.

To help prevent common heat-related issues day-to-day in the summer, Xcel Energy advised that customers be careful to avoid a lot of high-energy chores in the late afternoon on extremely hot days, and gradually lower their thermostats after coming home from work.

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