Xcel plans to add substation angers residents

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THORNTON, Colo. -- Plans to add an Xcel power substation to the north metro area have residents charged up and they're not afraid to let their concerns be known.

The energy company wants to build the substation near 120th Avenue and Quebec Street near the King Ranch subdivision in Thornton.

"When we moved out here we just fell in love with the mountain views," said Helen Lee, a resident who lives near the proposed power station.

Lee and her neighbors are concerned their mountain views may be overshadowed because Xcel Energy wants to build a large power substation right across the street on 120th.

"I'm on my front porch here on Spruce Street which is just a hop skip and a jump over there to 120th," said Brenda Kahler, who also lives near the proposed power station.

The substation will take up about four acres of land and connect to the current power lines.

"Having a substation there would really obstruct our view and we know it would lower our property values," said Kahler.

Instead of complaining, neighbors decided to act by holding a rally and collecting 325 signatures to support their efforts.  Residents hope they can convince Adams County that Xcel needs to find another location, especially because they feel they won't even benefit.

"Our area is not even serviced by Xcel. It's serviced by United Power," Lee said.

Xcel released a statement saying in part, "This facility is needed to help support three other substations that have reached maximum capacity. While nearby neighbors are not Xcel Energy customers, they will benefit in that the grid is interconnected."

Residents believe the power company has other options, besides building next to homes.

"We are not happy about it and believe Xcel could find another spot," Kahler said.

Residents said Xcel had selected six other possible locations as to where they could put the substation.

Adam's County Planning Commission is meeting on Thursday to discuss the plan in more detail.

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