Fraser Valley Xcel moratorium ends
Xcel Energy announced the end of a moratorium for new customers in the Fraser Valley on Tuesday, thanks to a public-private partnership for the construction of a gas reinforcement line.
Developers with Rendezvous and Roam, the town of Winter Park and Xcel worked together to reroute the needed six inch gas reinforcement line through the neighborhoods and town property as a quicker solution to the capacity issues that led to the moratorium.
“With the willingness of Rendezvous and Roam to come to the table and talk with us about the opportunity to construct and place that pipeline through their developments obviously allowed for us to expedite the process,” said Hollie Velasquez Horvath, senior director of state affairs and community relations for Xcel.
With the moratorium lifted, Xcel has resumed service to new development in the Fraser Valley.
“It’s back to business as usual,” Velasquez Horvath said.
Originally, Xcel had planned to route the reinforcement line through US Forest Service property, which would have included lengthy permit processes, leading Xcel to estimate the moratorium would last at least until 2022 or 2023.
However, construction is already underway on the pipeline and Velasquez Horvath said they expect the connection to be complete by early November.
“It was in record time that both parties came together,” she said of the partnership.
The reinforcement pipeline is designed to meet the modeled capacity needs for the next decade.
During Winter Park town council’s Tuesday meeting, Keith Neale, vice president of Rendezvous’ parent company Koelbel, and Jeff Vogel, a representative of Roam, spoke about the success of the partnership.
“It really was a complex project and I think it shows that a quasi-governmental entity and the private sector can come together to solve big problems,” Neale said. “I’m proud of the whole team. I’m actually proud of Xcel Energy and I never thought I’d say that.”
Beyond the private land in Rendezvous and Road, Winter Park’s town council also approved an easement on town-owned land near Roam for Xcel to be able to relocate the pipe.
Velasquez Horvath added that Xcel has begun cultivating relationships with local developers, as well as town and county officials, to keep on top of the growth in the area and the speed at which that growth is happening.
“We’ve made a commitment in all of our planning to work very closely with the town and the county to better understand what those growth plans look like so we can integrate that and factor them in,” she said.
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