Xcel Energy has started construction on a 345-kilovolt transmission line between Texas and New Mexico to extend its electrical distribution system.
Formal groundbreaking ceremonies were scheduled near Hobbs, N.M., on the $400 million project to eventually connect to a substation north of Abernathy, Texas.
An Xcel statement said the first segment will involve a substation southeast of Carlsbad, N.M. The new transmission line should run about 240 mi. (386 km) and be in service by 2018.
A similar Xcel project was completed in 2014 connecting the Texas substation to a unit near Woodward, Okla. When all the segments are completed by 2020, the power line is expected to stretch more than 400 mi. (644 km) from western Oklahoma to southeastern New Mexico.