As communities in the PNM service area continue to grow, PNM has a responsibility to actively evaluate and build new infrastructure to meet the growing demands of customers and the communities we serve. As part of this constant commitment to serve customers with safe, reliable power, PNM recently energized a new distribution line in Valencia County.
The Los Lunas area has experienced growth over the years, and in response to this growth, PNM planned a new project that will help better serve customers who live and work in the area. PNM was able to work safely within the limited space available, while ensuring the existing line stayed energized for existing customers, and adding the capacity needed for the growth in the area.
The engineering design is a “double-circuit” line, which means that two independent power lines are located on the same structure. The majority of distribution lines on the PNM system are single-circuit, which means that only one power line exists on a set of structures. The newly constructed line was built directly beside the old line, and the work was done while the existing line was still energized to minimize any interruptions that customers in the area experienced. Overall, 101 new poles were set across a 3.5-mile span.
“As PNM identifies areas that are experiencing growth, we upgrade and build new infrastructure as needed to be able to reliably meet current, and future demands from customers,” said Derek Kastendieck, project manager with PNM New Mexico Operations. “The addition of this new line and the upgraded structures will help better serve customers, supports future expected growth in the area, and assists our responsibility to maintain safe and reliable operation of the electric grid.”
Construction for this project started in September of 2020, and the new distribution line was officially energized in May of 2021.