Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Message from Xcel to Nederland Community

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Brittany Anas, from The Daily Camera, reported on this story: Xcel power outage rescheduled in Nederland after town complaints.

Here is the message from Craig Eicher, Boulder Region Area Manager, to the Nederland Community:
(Also on the town's website here.)

Dear residents and businesses of Nederland,

I want you to know that my company sincerely understands the inconvenience and disruption that is caused by any interruption of electric service. I also know it's oddly more significant when our customers are told about an outage in advance, rather than it just happening, such as during a storm.

As we communicated yesterday, we must interrupt your electric service on two separate occasions for no more than two hours each. The first outage is scheduled for this Sunday, Oct 6 from 10:00am to noon, while the second outage will occur either Oct 20 or Oct 27, to be determined later this week.

Some of you, including your mayor, have reminded me that Nederland has been badly impacted by road closures due to the floods and that has slowed tourism and your economy – especially on the weekends.

We heard you.

I've asked our project team to do everything possible to begin the outage earlier on Sunday so that it can be completed earlier than planned. I'm told that, if the winds are calm and the visibility is good, we should be able to get this started earlier than planned and then be out of your way. So, be prepared for the outage to begin any time between 8:00 am and 10:00 am, ending no more than two hours later.

We have put a lot of planning into scheduling the outages, including several conversations with the Town about the best possible day. First and foremost, the work is part of a very large project to improve electric service to Nederland and the surrounding area. We have two main lines that deliver electricity to your area. In recent years, we performed extensive upgrades to one of them, and now it is time to complete renovations to the other power line.

This work is highly challenging because, as you know, the beautiful area in which you live is not easily accessed by our trucks and equipment. Our power lines run over rocks and mountains and, for that reason, our crews have been digging the holes for new power poles by hand. And, those poles must now be placed by a helicopter, but for safety reasons, we cannot have electricity running through those lines while the poles are being placed. With colder temperatures already here, we want to have this important part of the project completed in advance of the first significant snows.

But, I want to be up front with you; while we are planning an earlier start, this project requires good weather and coordination among multiple people and agencies, including crews on the ground, which have been preparing the site for the new poles, the flight crew, which has arranged for FAA clearance, our electric operations, which has to configure the system to accommodate the outage, local law enforcement and traffic control. Getting all those people and details into place is essential for ensuring the mission is accomplished safely and within the timeframe.

I understand there is never a convenient time for a power outage. Please know we will restore your service as quickly as possible and will do everything we can to keep the impact on you as brief as possible.

Thank you very much,

Craig Eicher,
Xcel Boulder Region Area Manager
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