Xcel Energy has plans to invest $557 million in new transmission lines and substations to feed the growing economies of eastern New Mexico and West Texas.
Officials say demand for electricity in the region is expected to grow significantly because of booms in the oilfield and the mining industry.
The plan calls for 400 miles of high-voltage lines and 12 new substations. Some of the projects were identified in a regional study and recently approved by the Southwest Power Pool, which oversees the reliability of the grid in an eight-state region that includes New Mexico and Texas.
In addition to the projects announced by Xcel this week, the electric provider already has plans for 240 miles of new distribution lines in Lea and Eddy counties in southeastern New Mexico.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.