AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Xcel Energy has planned a $20.1 million upgrade and expansion of its Lawrence Park Substation in Amarillo. Xcel officials said the upgrade will boost reliability and capacity of the hub which powers west-central Amarillo neighborhoods and commercial areas that are seeing continuous growth.
According to Xcel, the Lawrence Park Substation expansion is the latest in its multiyear grid improvement program. The Lawrence Park Substation is located behind United Market Street off of Georgia Street and Southwest 26th Avenue.
“Economic activity in Amarillo has been robust even during the pandemic,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – Texas. “While we’ve built several new facilities to meet this uptick in demand, we’re also seeing growth in older parts of town where the infrastructure was put in as far back as the 1940s and 1950s. Timely investments in these neighborhoods ensures opportunity for growth across the city.”
Xcel has already purchased property north of the existing substation, and plans to remove a vacant building to expand the facility. The company said that project is slated for completion by December 2022.
A large portion of the Wolflin-Georgia retail district is served by the Lawrence Park Substation, as well as neighborhoods and commercial areas north of I-40. The company said the facility currently outputs nearly 47 megawatts of customer demand, or 47 million watts, which is enough power to light 470,000 100-watt lightbulbs.
Once upgrades are complete, the facility will have two transformers with the ability to serve 50 megawatts of demand. This allows for future growth, as well as a solid backup if one transformer becomes inoperable, the company said.
“Timely investments in the metro area’s power grid ensure we can maintain a high level of service today and meet the needs of future growth,” Hudson said. “A robust power grid is the backbone of job creation efforts in this area.”
Xcel said the Lawrence Park expansion is the latest in a string of enhancements it has planned for the Amarillo-Canyon metro power grid.
These enhancements include:
- A new substation named Preston West, south of Loop 335 near Coulter Street.
- Continuing upgrades to distribution lines in the San Jacinto neighborhood and neighborhoods west and north of downtown Amarillo.
- Replacing the 230/115-kilovolt double circuit transmission line between the Rolling Hills Substation and Potter County Interchange north of Amarillo.
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