Improvement Project Plans

Several projects are scheduled to improve service to Sangre de Cristo Electric Association (SDCEA) consumers in the coming months.

Buena Vista to Twin Lakes

The main service line between the Buena Vista Substation and the Twin Lakes Substation, 17.5 miles, is being replaced and upgraded. The project started last summer and is about 30% complete.

The project will improve service reliability along the line, as well as improve the tie-in between the Buena Vista and Twin Lakes substations. The tie-in will allow crews to provide back-up power in either area if one of the two substations goes offline.

Chalk Creek Canyon

SDCEA’s line from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort to Alpine and St. Elmo will be replaced over the next year and is under construction. Poles for the first 2 miles of the project have been framed and will be set over the next few months, depending on snow depth in the area. The overall project consists of 12 miles of line. SDCEA is working on the Chalk Creek Canyon project in conjunction with Colorado Central Telecom, which is running fiber optic cable, designed for long-distance, high-performance data networking, and telecommunications to the Alpine and St. Elmo areas.

Tommy Young Line

The 19-mile Tommy Young line, which runs from Verdemont Road in Custer County north to Cotopaxi, is currently in a project redesign process. Once the design process is complete, the line will also be replaced. The rebuild of this section of line is part of a long-term project that will provide better service in the area.

Wildfire Mitigation

SDCEA plans to obtain drone images of all 756 miles of its overhead line system beginning in April. Information from the drone project will allow the cooperative to prioritize the treatment of areas of greatest concern for wildfire hazards, such as areas where vegetation is currently in direct contact with power lines.

High-priority areas for wildfire mitigation may be trimmed back initially to remove the immediate threat of vegetation in direct contact with lines. Then, crews will return to clear vegetation in SDCEA rights-of-way in those areas as scheduled in the Wildfire Mitigation program for that area.

As areas are identified for Wildfire Mitigation, SDCEA plans to list a schedule of work areas on our website in the future, as well as contact account holders in the areas planned for work. Please make sure your phone number, email, and mailing address information is up-to-date with SDCEA if you would like to be contacted about future Wildfire Mitigation work plans. You may also check our website for information.

We’ll do our best to notify consumers about wildfire mitigation plans, but SDCEA may need to remove vegetation on-site during outage restoration or in an emergency without notification.

New Wildfire Mitigation Rider Begins in January

To help protect and sustain local communities by helping to avoid a catastrophic wildfire, the SDCEA Board of Directors has approved a $6 per month Wildfire Mitigation Rider, beginning January 1, 2021.

Consumers will see the charge appear on their monthly bills listed as Wildfire Mitigation Rider with a $6 charge. Consumers will first see the charge in February when they receive their January bill.

For more information on the rider, please visit our Wildfire Mitigation Rider page or view our website’s news carousel on the homepage.