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Both Tri-State and Xcel Energy performed extensive analyses to identify reasonable system alternatives to meet the project's purpose and need of improving reliability and providing an outlet for renewable energy.
These analyses studied system alternatives, including transmission alternatives, out of the San Luis Valley to the north, south, east and west and concluded that the proposed San Luis Valley to Calumet to Comanche corridor best meets the purpose and need of the project in a cost efficient manner.
Much has been stated regarding proposed system alternatives running north out of the San Luis Valley that are supposedly "cheaper and lessen environmental impacts," while still meeting the purpose and need of the project.
These purported system alternatives have been introduced by representatives of the Trinchera Ranch. These alternatives fail to meet the purpose and need of the project, are more expensive than the proposed San Luis Valley to Calumet to Comanche corridor and they do not lessen environmental impacts.
Trinchera Ranch's proposals do not meet the project's purpose and need and would result in potential impacts to the environment and numerous communities in Colorado, unwarranted delays in project implementation, and increased costs to electric customers. Their proposal was performed outside the normal integrated transmission planning process and does not include feasibility and siting studies, detailed cost estimates and community and landowner outreach. Tri-State and Xcel Energy do not feel that such alternatives are reasonable solutions to the challenges faced in Southern Colorado.
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