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Project Update

Colorado’s Power Pathway project, US [free access]

July 7, 2022

Developer: Xcel Energy Inc


Project details and status: The USD1.7 billion-USD2 billion project involves the construction of an approximately 560- to 650-mile (896-1,040-km), 345 kV double-circuit transmission line that will connect the Front Range to areas rich in solar and wind potential in northeastern, eastern and southeastern Colorado.


The project consists of five segments: Fort St Vrain–Canal Crossing; Canal Crossing–Goose Creek; Goose Creek–May Valley; May Valley–Tundra; and Tundra–Harvest Mile as well as an extension, May Valley–Longhorn (MVL Extension).


The project aims to complement Xcel Energy's proposed USD8 billion Colorado Energy Plan, which calls for the company to shut all but one of its coal-fired power plants by 2028 and replace them with electricity generated mainly by wind and solar power projects developed on the plains. Power Pathway proposes to add capacity to handle an influx of energy from systems spread across sparsely populated rural areas but used in Colorado’s main urban area.


In March 2021, Xcel Energy filed for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC). It further proposed that the PUC consider issuing a CPCN for the MVL Extension, which is an extension of 90 miles (144 km) in southeast Colorado.


In June 2022, the PUC approved all five segments of the project and the MVL Extension.


By mid-2023, Xcel expects to start construction on the first segments with full build-out of the project by 2027.