Officials to discuss backup power line

If primary source failed, city would be left in the dark

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— Xcel Energy, in conjunction with Yampa Valley Electric Association, is holding a public meeting tonight to discuss the need to build a large backup power line to service Steamboat Springs.

The existing backup line is a 69 kilovolt line, unlike the 230 kilovolt line that is the primary power line.

If the 230 kilovolt line went out, the 69 kilovolt line can barely give enough power to the city during the peak time of the year, according to Yampa Valley Electric Association.

If growth continues, the 69 kilovolt line would not be enough to power the community if the main line failed, leaving much of the city in the dark, according to Xcel.

The need for the backup is attributed to growth.

Xcel wants to build a 230 kilovolt line to service Steamboat Springs.

It proposes eight different places and procedures to do this, including putting it adjacent to the existing 230 kilovolt line, which runs in the Cow Creek area and then runs parallel to County Road 33 about one mile south to the Steamboat Substation.

Five other routes connect to the large western area line: three cut through the southwest part of Steamboat Springs behind Emerald Mountain, one runs up U.S. 40 and one runs through the Strawberry Park area.

All of the plans include an above-ground line, not a buried line, because of costs.

Steve Roalstad, media relations for Xcel, said tonight's meeting will have two purposes: "To provide information for people stopping by, and secondly and probably most importantly to take input from the citizens of the Yampa Valley so we can learn their concerns with regard to this project," he said.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. tonight in the community room at Yampa Valley Electric Association building on 10th Street.

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