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      Xcel Energy plans $34 million upgrade to Amarillo's transmission system

      Xcel Energy is planning to improve Amarillo's transmission system by about $34 million.

      More than $30 million in upgrades are being planned by Xcel Energy for Amarillo's transmission system.

      The series of upgrades, according to the utility, will be to Amarillo's high voltage electricity transmission system.

      Starting now and lasting until the end of 2013, the upgrades will help boost reliability and capacity to the growing outer areas of the city, Xcel said.

      "Upgrading and modernizing the transmission system not only helps prevent and minimize outages on the system, but also supports the efforts of local economic developers who promote reliable, plentiful and low-cost power to businesses seeking to relocate or expand in the Amarillo area," said Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company.

      The upgrades total $33.6 million and will add and update the transmission facilities in north, east and south Amarillo. Xcel said the city is growing in those areas, causing it to outgrow the existing transmission infrastructure.

      After these upgrades are completed, Xcel said more transmission enhancements are being studied for the western edges of Amarillo. The Southwest Power Pool identified the projects are necessary improvements in a 20120 study.