San Luis Valley project map

San Luis Valley proposed transmission line.

This proposed transmission line project would travel over La Veta Pass into Colorado's San Luis Valley with the goal of increasing transmission reliability and access to solar resources in the San Luis Valley.  The transmission line is being proposed by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), an Xcel Energy Company. The region supports a variety of wildlife, and of special concern are Sandhill Cranes and other species which migrate through the valley. 

With these projects and others, Audubon is relying on local expertise of Audubon chapters in the region to be the eyes and ears on the ground. Chapter leaders have reviewed comments on proposed routes, helped to ground-truth possible impacts to habitat and other critical wildlife areas, and worked with our state offices on alternative routing scenarios. As these projects move from the drawing board to construction, Audubon will monitor that process at every turn to ensure that every consideration is given to the irreplaceable wildlife resources and other environmental values at stake in our country's quest for energy.

Under the authority of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service (RUS) makes direct loans and loan guarantees to electric cooperatives to serve customers in rural areas. Tri-State is requesting funding from RUS for its portion of the San Luis Valley-Calumet-Comanche project. Prior to making a decision about whether to provide financial assistance for the proposed project, RUS is conducting an Environmental Impact Statement on the project in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The environmental process required by RUS has undergone a series of public scoping meetings already and will resume scoping meetings in Fall 2011.  The developers' anticipated in-service date is May 2016.

Contact Audubon Colorado for more information on efforts to protect birds and habitat and our work to ensure that transmission lines and renewable energy is properly sited.