TUCUMCARI, N.M. (AP) — Xcel Energy has started work on a new backup power plant for the eastern New Mexico community of Tucumcari.
The utility will be moving a combustion turbine from an existing plant in West Texas to the new Quay County Generating Station. The 23-megawatt diesel-powered turbine will serve primarily as a backup source of power if service on the main transmission line is interrupted.
Xcel says it stopped using the previous diesel system several years ago due to the age and condition of its generators.
Tucumcari and Quay County officials joined Xcel representatives on Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony.
The project includes expansion of an existing substation and modifications to the local distribution system to accommodate the new turbine.
Officials say the backup plant will be operational by late spring 2013.