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System Improvements

We continually upgrade our system to improve reliability. The projects detailed on this page represent just a few examples of our ongoing and planned system improvements. Click on a project’s title to read more about it. If you have questions or comments, contact us via email.

IREA is converting an aging section of overhead distribution line to underground to improve system reliability in the Bennett area. The line originates at our Bennett Substation and extends north across Interstate 70 and into the area near King Soopers. Construction of the electric facilities was completed in November. Additional cleanup work will be done this spring. In 2021, we will also begin rebuilding the 115-kilovolt transmission line between our Bayou and Elizabeth substations. The larger conductor will increase capacity in the area, which includes neighborhoods in and around Elizabeth, Franktown and western Douglas and eastern Elbert counties. Construction is planned to begin this spring and be completed by the end of the year.

IREA is improving service in the Bergen Park area with line and facilities upgrades. The area is currently cut off from other parts of IREA’s system and is served by a transmission line maintained by Xcel Energy. IREA recently built an addition to an Xcel substation that allows us to take service directly from the 115-volt transmission system, rather than the 25-volt distribution feed that previously served the area. We rebuilt the main distribution loops in the area, except for one piece along Saddleback Drive, which will be constructed in 2021. We conduct distribution maintenance and vegetation management work in the area on an ongoing basis, and in early September, fire mitigation work was performed on the transmission line that feeds the Bergen Park Substation.

IREA is rebuilding an existing distribution line to improve reliability and mitigate the risk of wildfire in the Deer Creek Canyon area. Several outages have occurred along a 5.5-mile segment of 12.47-kilovolt line between C-470 and Tiny Town. Parts of the segment are not accessible with typical line-building equipment, so holes must be dug by hand and poles set via helicopter. This project began in Spring 2020 and will continue into Fall 2021.

IREA is currently upgrading a 7.25-mile section of overhead distribution line in the easternmost part of its service territory. The project is the first of two planned this year to help improve reliability for IREA customers in Deer Trail and the surrounding areas. The current distribution line upgrade starts at the intersection of South Price Road and East Yale Avenue, just north of Deer Trail, and extends to the west for 2 miles before heading north an additional 5.25 miles to U.S. Highway 36. The project involves redesigning the aging three-phase distribution circuit to IREA’s new standards. Upgrades will include new, taller wood poles and aluminum steel-reinforced conductor. The project also includes numerous upgraded taps for landowners along the 7.25-mile section. Construction has been completed for the first 4 miles of the project, with the remaining 3.25 miles expected to be completed by early spring.

Due to continued growth in southern Parker and eastern Castle Rock, IREA has identified the need for a new substation near the Town of Franktown, along U.S. Highway 83. The site has been permitted through Douglas County and engineering has started. Construction likely will begin in May 2021 and be completed by March 2022.

IREA is rebuilding 8.5 miles of transmission line in north Park County. The work is part of a long-term rebuild of the transmission line between Conifer and Park County to increase capacity and improve reliability. The work will upgrade the existing 44-kilovolt line between the west side of Kenosha Pass near Jefferson and the Roberts Tunnel Power Generation Station near Grant to 115 kilovolts. A new Roberts Tunnel substation will replace both the Grant and existing Roberts Tunnel substations. The area’s terrain requires the use of helicopters and track-mounted drill rigs. Much of the work will be visible along U.S. Highway 285. The project required approval from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Park County, and the Colorado State Land Board. It is scheduled for completion in Fall 2021.

We continue to replace old single-phase line between Lake George to Eleven Mile Canyon Reservoir. We began upgrading this line in 2017 and are finalizing engineering of the final 4.6 miles from Stoll Ranch Road into Eleven Mile Village, generally along County Road 92. This final segment should be constructed by September 2021.

IREA has begun a rebuild project that consists of upgrading single- and three-phase distribution lines in the Palmer Lake area. The upgrade is substantial and will be completed in four phases. The first phase, in the northwestern portion of town, began construction recently. The rebuild of this area will improve reliability, as the existing lines are outdated and no longer meet IREA standards. The upgrade will also include new transformers, poles and wire, which will improve the aesthetics of the line within the boundaries of Palmer Lake.

IREA is committed to mitigating the risk of wildfire to protect our customers, employees and distribution system. We have implemented a comprehensive wildfire mitigation plan to reduce the risk of IREA’s equipment and facilities causing a wildfire. The plan is intended to safeguard customers, our employees and the electric system upon which you rely now more than ever. More information about the plan is available here.