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Poder Substation is a new electric substation to be located at East 51st Avenue and Columbine Street. The substation will be connected to the existing transmission line along York Street, one block to the west. Poder Substation includes several components:
- A new substation located on approximately 7 acres
- Approximately 675 feet of overhead single-circuit 115-kilovolt electric transmission line interconnection
- Approximately 250 feet of distribution interconnection
See more information Substation Description.
Denver continues to experience residential, commercial, and industrial growth which has increased the demand for additional electricity. Xcel Energy is making upgrades to the electric system in this area to reliably serve the additional customer need anticipated for the future.
Yes. The new Poder Substation will reinforce our electric system and provide additional capacity needed to deliver reliable electricity to current and future customers. Poder Substation will improve overall system reliability and resilience in the Elyria-Swansea, Globeville, Five Points and other neighborhoods, and backup existing substations that are reaching capacity.
Distribution substations, like Poder Substation, reduce the voltage of electricity delivered from load serving transmission lines to a lower voltage that is delivered on distribution lines to power homes and businesses.
Yes, distribution substations such as Poder Substation need to be located within the communities they serve to efficiently deliver power to homes and businesses. Xcel Energy operates more than 50 distribution substations in and around Denver. Each substation site is designed to meet technical requirements, local development standards, and complement the surrounding area. Examples of Xcel Energy distribution substations currently serving local communities are provided on our public meeting boards, located in the Poder Substation library. Additional examples in Denver may be viewed by clicking on a substation name:
- California (Denver: 24th Street and California Street)
- Capitol Hill (Denver: East 13th Avenue and North Washington Street)
- Harrison (Denver: East 13th Avenue and Harrison Street)
- Monroe (Denver: East Ellsworth Avenue and North Monroe Street)
- Leetsdale (Denver: Leetsdale Drive and South Jersey Street)
- Sullivan (Denver: East Hampden Avenue west of South Verbena Street)
- Greenwood (Centennial: East Weaver Street and South Holly Street)
- Russell (Arvada: West 51st Avenue and Carr Street)
A transmission line transmits power long distances and at higher voltages. A transmission line connects to a substation that will reduce the high voltage to a lower voltage to distribution level. The lower voltage electricity is distributed to customers by way of electric distribution lines or “feeders.”
Construction will take place during daylight hours and most construction impacts will be limited to the substation location at 51st Avenue and Columbine Street. Construction might need to occur during weekend or overnight to avoid negative impacts to the electric system. You may see additional vehicular traffic in the area as equipment and materials are delivered to and from the site. Elevated levels of noise and activity may occur during construction.
The substation is located approximately 300 feet from the northern end of Swansea Park and some nearby residences, on the west side of the railroad tracks, but will be visible from these locations. We are committed to building a substation that aligns with the aesthetic considerations of the community and will use walls, plants and/or artistic features to help minimize the visual impact. Xcel Energy is conducting outreach to the surrounding communities to solicit input on the aesthetic design considerations most important for Poder Substation.
The substation and transmission lines are designed to operate within Colorado mandated noise parameters, which are 50 dba (for noise radiating beyond the property line or right-of-way at 25 feet). Any noise generated by the operation of the transmission line or substation equipment will comply with the mandated noise parameters. Some noise will be generated during construction. Noise can be expected from the presence of people onsite and from construction machinery and employee vehicular traffic. Construction vehicles and equipment will be maintained in proper operating condition and will be equipped with manufacturers’ standard noise control devices or better (e.g., mufflers, engine enclosures). After construction, some components of the Project, including the transmission lines, may emit a low level of noise when wet but will still operate within Colorado mandated noise parameters. For more information about noise and health effects, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website about noise and hearing loss.
The substation and transmission lines do not generate odors while operating.
Equipment located within Poder substation will vary in height. The tallest features will be transmission line structures on the north side of the substation that will be approximately 60’ tall and the lightning protection masts that will be approximately 45’ tall. (Zoning for the parcel allows for buildings 75’ in height.) Other equipment in the substation will be shorter and range from 10 to 15 feet tall. The equipment will be enclosed in a 12’ wall. Renderings of what the substation could look like can be viewed on our public meeting boards, located in the Poder Substation library.
Xcel Energy welcomes input from small and diverse partners and suppliers. Learn more at Partners and Suppliers | Economic Development | Xcel Energy.
Our electric system, including substations and power lines, are monitored 24/7/365 by a staffed control center. If there is an unanticipated event in the system, the flow of electricity into the system is disrupted at a nearby substation to protect the public. We also inspect our infrastructure regularly to check for damage, equipment needing repair or replacement and anything else that might jeopardize safe, reliable operation of our equipment.
The risk of fire at an electric substation is generally very low, as the majority of the equipment within its footprint are non-combustible. There are components of a substation that do pose fire risks, including electric transformers. We design our substations with this risk in mind and include fire suppression systems tailored to the specific equipment in use. We also regularly inspect our substations to ensure that equipment is functioning properly and minimize the risk of fire.
Every effort is made to ensure safety in construction, operation and maintenance of electric substations. Substations are built and maintained to meet or exceed safety standards, such as those specified by the National Electrical Safety Code and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.
Facility design uniformly includes fencing or walls to prevent unauthorized access. Additional security measures may be included in substation design depending on the specific needs of the site. Local law enforcement will be informed of security measures and will be consulted on potential security needs related to the project.
Yes. Local emergency responders will be kept informed during construction and operation of the facility, and information about on-site security and safety features, such as the fire suppression system, will be provided to them, as necessary.
Community engagement helps drive responsible development. Xcel Energy will continue to communicate through this website during the development process to inform customers about our progress. Contact us at 800-957-9048 or [email protected] with any questions or comments, and we will work with the community and Denver through all the phases of this needed project.
We’re looking for community feedback on certain aspects of the Project, including substation wall materials and design elements. Feedback will be collected through our website and a series of open houses. We welcome your thoughts and comments and encourage you to share them using our communications channels:
Poder Substation will be in an area zoned for industrial uses. It will remain industrial according to Blueprint Denver and the 2015 Elyria & Swansea Neighborhoods Plan. The parcel is zoned Industrial-B (I-B), which allows for electric utility use.
Potential zoning applications for the use of private property include a Site Development Plan, Zoning Permit with Special Exception, Zone Lot Amendment and Large Development Review. The city’s Development Review Committee will determine whether a Large Development Review is applicable to this project.
The City of Denver requires a significant amount of information when permitting a construction project, including noise, setbacks, landscaping, lighting, and stormwater management among other items. For more information and a complete list of required information, please visit Section 12.3, Section 12.4.3, Section 12.4.4, 12.4.9 and Section 12.4.12 of the Denver Zoning Code, found here.