- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico regulators have cleared the way for a $53 million high-voltage transmission project in southeastern New Mexico.

Xcel Energy says it has experienced a lot of growth in Eddy and Lea counties over the past several years, with much of that resulting from an oil boom in the Permian Basin and increased mining activity.

Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves says the area where much of the energy development has occurred lacked adequate transmission infrastructure. The new project will help address that need.

In addition to adding high-voltage lines, Xcel is building new lower-voltage distribution lines that will serve oilfield customers.

Reeves says the utility anticipate long-term development in the area, and transmission infrastructure investments are necessary to sustain economic growth into the future.

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