A recent analysis of Xcel Energy’s financial operations shows that the company spent close to a half billion dollars in 2017 with vendors based in its Texas and New Mexico service area as it continued a long streak of capital improvements to the region’s electricity grid.
“This spending supports thousands of jobs and families across our Texas and New Mexico service area,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “And the dollars we spend to build and maintain the power grid ensure abundant, safe and clean energy resources for communities across the region that are building their economies and creating a greater quality of life for everyone.”
Xcel Energy operates in 94 towns and cities in a 52,000-square-mile service territory that includes the Panhandle and South Plains regions of Texas and a large portion of eastern New Mexico. The company’s high-voltage transmission network stretches from southwestern Kansas down to southeastern New Mexico.
Throughout this region, Xcel Energy owns and operates valuable generating stations, power lines and substation facilities that generate a significant amount of tax revenue for local governments. In 2017, Xcel Energy paid more than $71 million in taxes and franchise fees in Texas and close to $45 million in taxes and franchise fees in New Mexico.
“With around 1,500 employees in Texas and more than 200 in New Mexico, our greatest contribution is the talent and commitment of the men and women who serve our company and their communities,” Hudson said. “More than one in ten employees are military veterans, but they all have a strong sense of their place in the community and a desire to serve their neighbors.”
Employees are active in their communities, and gave close to $700,000 to local United Way organizations in Texas and New Mexico, a number that includes a corporate match from Xcel Energy. Additionally, employees gave more than $260,000 to area nonprofits and volunteered more than 4,500 hours.
Looking ahead, Hudson expects the company’s impact on the regional economy to grow larger as it lays plans for additional investment in the power lines and generating equipment that will drive the regional economy for years to come. In the spring of this year, Xcel Energy gained approvals to move ahead with a $1.6 billion plan to build and own 1,000 megawatts of new wind energy generation at planned facilities near Plainview, Texas, and Portales, N.M.
Construction started on the Hale Wind Project in Texas in June, bringing with it 300 construction jobs and eventually close to 20 full-time, permanent positions. The Hale project, combined New Mexico’s Sagamore Wind Project and 230-megawatts of wind energy to be acquired through a power purchase contract, will generate savings of close to $2 billion for regional electricity customers over 30 years. Additionally, these wind facilities will generate $2.6 million in annual landowner royalty payments in New Mexico and $1.9 million in Texas. They will generate close to $132 million in local property tax payments in New Mexico and $22 million in Texas over 25 years.
More information about Xcel Energy’s wind proposal and other investments in the regional power system can be found at www.xcelenergy.com/ourenergyfuturesw.