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Xcel Energy Powers Growth in Roswell-Chaves County

Xcel Energy is stimulating growth in Roswell-Chaves County, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the area power grid.

By Livability on November 18, 2022

Reliable and affordable electric power has long been a drawing card for business expansion and relocation in Roswell and Chaves County, New Mexico. And since the first bulb in Roswell was lit in 1904 by Roswell Electric Service Co. — an Xcel Energy predecessor company — a shared vision of future success has made all the difference.

“Our scorecard is tied to the success of Roswell and Chaves County, so our business model is based upon anticipating how much energy we’ll need and where we’ll need it in time for new development to occur,” says Mike McLeod, Xcel Energy regional manager for Community and Economic Development in Roswell.

Xcel Energy has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the capacity of the Roswell-area power grid over the past decade, first by completing a new, $30 million high-voltage transmission loop around the city in 2018 that ensures the availability of power when service is interrupted on any part of the network.

In 2019, Xcel Energy invested $11 million in upgrading electrical facilities serving the Roswell International Air Center, shoring up a piecemeal network inherited from Walker Air Force Base and ensuring the competitiveness of one of the city’s premier industrial centers.

In 2020, Xcel Energy invested approximately $900 million in the Sagamore Wind Project in neighboring Roosevelt County, a wind energy plant that is generating enough electricity to power 194,000 typical homes in the region annually and providing more than $234 million in local and state benefits over the 25-year life of the facility.

Additionally, Xcel Energy purchased 140 megawatts of clean solar energy from the Roswell and Chaves County Solar Energy Centers northeast of Roswell. The two solar plants are generating payments in lieu of property taxes of $660,000 per year for the local area, with a portion going to Chaves County and a portion directly to the Roswell Independent School District.

Xcel Energy is directly involved in promoting Roswell and Chaves County through its Certified Sites program, an online inventory of the area’s most marketable industrial sites and buildings at economicdevelopment.xcelenergy.com. Site consultants will find information on dozens of characteristics, including robust power capacity and infrastructure, access to transportation and communication networks and other criteria designed to increase speed to market.

“We live and work in the communities we serve, so it’s vital that we do more than just provide electricity,” McLeod says. “We’re in a long-term partnership to create jobs and make Roswell and Chaves County a great place to do business.”

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