About the Project

About the High Plains Express Transmission Project

The High Plains Express Transmission Project (HPX) is a proactive plan for the expansion and reinforcement of the transmission grid in the states of Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. The goal is to develop a high-voltage, backbone transmission system that will enhance reliability and increase access to renewable and other diverse generation resources within regional energy resource zones.

The first stage of the HPX was a joint participation feasibility study that explored transmission alternatives and was completed in 2008. The second stage includes more detailed studies to further address issues such as siting, permitting, preliminary design options, and commercial feasibility. The second stage efforts are in the process of being completed including preparation of a final report. The High Plain Express Participants are planning to review the second stage results with stakeholders near the end of the first quarter of 2011.

The project participants are now planning to initiate a stage three evaluation effort that will focus on evaluating the stage two results, monitoring pertinent regulatory developments and considering the potential for development of the High Plain Express Project. The evaluation efforts will include further examination of energy demand forecasts, changes in projected costs, renewable technology developments and improvements and other cost factors that could impact both the need and economic viability of the project.

Project Highlights

  • Planned as a 500kV AC transmission line
  • Provide resource developers with increased transmission capability to reach markets;
  • Length is approximately 1,300 miles
  • In-service date: TBD
  • Preliminary capital cost estimates range from $3.5 billion for a single circuit line to $5.5 billion for one double circuit line
  • Project Participants: Colorado Springs Utilities, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Salt River Project, LS Power, Tri-State G&T, Western Area Power Administration, Xcel Energy, New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, Colorado Clean Energy Development Authority, Black Hills Corporation and Nextera Energy Resources

Potential Benefits

The potential exists for multiple benefits related to this collaboration that may extend to many customers and include:

  • Provide increased transmission capability to reach various markets
  • Increase import and export transfer capabilities
  • Minimize environmental impacts by sharing utility corridors
  • Help states meet renewable energy standards