Xcel Energy upgrading Sioux Falls power system - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Xcel Energy upgrading Sioux Falls power system

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Xcel Energy is investing in an updated electricity system.

They say the improved system will handle all of the growth in central Sioux Falls.

The last time our power lines were replaced was 75 years ago.

The population in Sioux Falls back then was about 40,000.

Now the population is 160,000.

The new system should provide power for at least 75 more years.

We've heard it before and we'll hear it again, "Sioux Falls had a record year for capital investment last year," said Principal Manager for Xcel Energy Jim Wilcox.

Which is why Xcel Energy is investing $67 million in an electricity upgrade.

"It will double the power carrying capability of that power line, that power system. So it's going to help us with providing better reliability," Wilcox said.

He added the new power system will be more reliable and last for one hundred years.

There are many other projects that will help the future of Sioux Falls and Utility Operations Administrator for Sioux Falls, Trent Lubbers said that is great.

"Whenever a utility makes a substantial investment in our community it sets us up for growth. That's a positive sign for Sioux Falls and it keeps us growing," Lubbers added.

He said they plan for growth years and even decades before it happens.

"That's one of the reasons that we're a vibrant and growing community, because of how people plan ahead and we have that stuff available and we continue to think that far ahead," Lubbers explained.

The extensive planning is evident when it comes to our water supply.

Sioux Falls has reserved 28 million gallons of water a day from the Lewis & Clark Regional Water Service.

Executive Director, Troy Larson said we've planned for the next 40 to 50 years.

"That's why when I say Sioux Falls has reserved 28 million gallons a day it may be a number of years before it starts taking that full amount," Larson explained.

In addition to the new power lines, Xcel is adding more automatic switches that can tell when power is disrupted and avoid power outages.

Work on the new power system has already started and is set to be finished by 2015

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