The city Planning Commission will review a small portion of the new power lines Xcel Energy is proposing to put in place.
Xcel has plans to build a 18.4-mile power line to meet Steamboat's growing electricity demand.
A quarter-mile of that project runs through land inside the city limits and just behind the Fairview subdivision.
The entire power line project largely would follow a path similar to the existing power line that wraps around the west and north side of Emerald Mountain and ends at an existing substation on Steamboat's west side.
In the stretch, the city is asked to approve Thursday night, the proposed line runs parallel to the existing line. Three properties are involved in the city portion of the project.
City planning staff is recommending approval. Planner Jonathan Spence said Xcel's proposal mitigates the visual and environmental impacts of a new power line.
Xcel was debating whether the new line should be built on new towers paralleling the existing power-line towers or whether new towers should be built capable of carrying both lines.
Xcel decided to put in towers that were slightly higher than the existing towers, but will mean fewer poles in between to hold up the lines.
Spence said Xcel went against the one-tower concept because taking a line out of service would leave the town vulnerable to blackouts.
Xcel said it needs a second line to meet the growing demand in the Yampa Valley. Yampa Valley Electric Association, the rural electrical cooperative that has a long-term contract with Xcel, serves 12,000 customers in Steamboat and the surrounding area through the Steamboat Spring's substation.
The substation has one high voltage source, a 230-kilovolt line coming into it. Another source, a 69-kilovolt line, comes from the Mount Harris substation for limited backup in case the existing 230-kilovolt line goes down.
Xcel said the 69-kilovolt line no longer provides adequate backup for the growing Steamboat area.
By providing another line to the Steamboat substation from the Wolcott Tap Switching Station, which is in the western part of the county, that demand will be met.
Xcel has asked for public input through open houses and hopes to start constructing the project this year.
The company had presented eight different options, all of which proposed to go through a small portion of the city and three of which proposed to go behind the Fairview subdivision. The other alternatives proposed going through the Strawberry Park and Brooklyn neighborhoods.
Routt County will see plans for the majority of the project in June.
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