Glenwood Springs – Mitchell Creek Electric Transmission Line Rebuild

Xcel Energy’s Transmission Project

The electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power generation facilities and transmission lines that deliver energy to local communities. In Glenwood Springs, transmission lines owned by Xcel Energy deliver electricity to the Glenwood Springs Electric Department’s substations and distribution system, which then serves local users. Glenwood Springs Electric Department purchases wholesale wind power from the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) to serve the city’s power needs.

Need to Rebuild

One of Xcel Energy’s electric transmission lines that provides power to Glenwood Springs runs 2.25 miles between the Glenwood Springs Substation (northeast of the Glenwood Hot Springs pool) and Mitchell Creek Substation (northwest of the Glenwood Meadows shopping center). This line was originally built in the 1940s and a portion was rebuilt in the 1960s. This line must be rebuilt because it has reached the end of its safe and useful life. The line will be rebuilt to current design standards that include additional measures to reduce wildfire risk, such as replacing wood poles with steel poles. This project will ensure continued delivery of economic, safe and reliable electric service to our customers in Glenwood Springs and western Colorado. Replacement of the line should begin in spring 2024.  

Location and Design

The existing line location was built more than 80 years ago, when about 10,000 people lived in Garfield County, compared to approximately 60,000 today. Limited access to the Glenwood Springs-Mitchell Creek transmission line makes construction and maintenance challenging. We’ve studied alternatives for the electric line location, and evaluated technical design requirements and potential impacts on the environment, community, residents and businesses in Glenwood Springs. Rebuilding the line along the current route was identified as the preferred alternative because it will result in the fewest new impacts along the line.  

The rebuilt transmission line will be constructed with steel monopole structures. While the transmission line will operate at 69kV initially, the structures will be designed to accommodate a 115kV line to meet future demand. The height and design of the structures depends on location and conditions such as slope, soil conditions and distance between poles. The new poles are expected to be placed within existing easements or rights-of-way, but additional easements are required in some areas to ensure construction and operational safety and to provide access to the transmission line. For most of the project, contractors will use established ground access points; however, some areas cannot be reached by heavy vehicles, and equipment will need to be placed by helicopter. We will provide notification prior to these events.  

See what the rebuilt transmission line will look like.

Find out more about current and future work planned for the project.


Xcel Energy has met with Garfield County and City of Glenwood Springs representatives to discuss land use permitting requirements. In Summer 2023, a Location and Extent permit application and a 1041 permit application were submitted to the City of Glenwood Springs and a Location and Extent permit application was submitted to Garfield County. The Garfield County Planning Commission and City of Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council will review the respective permit applications at public hearings later this year and early next year. City of Glenwood Springs hearing information is provided below. County hearing details will be posted to this page, once confirmed.    

Planning Commission Hearing
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023
Location: Glenwood Springs City Hall, City Council Chambers
                 101 W. 8th St.
                 Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Time: 6 p.m.

City Council Hearing
Date: Thursday, Jan. 4, 2023
Location: Glenwood Springs City Hall, City Council Chambers
                 101 W. 8th St.
                 Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Time: 6:15 p.m.

Learn more about how we are engaging the public and jurisdictions.