Xcel Energy Doubles Down on Eddy County

Xcel Energy Doubles Down on Eddy County Main Photo

1 Jan 2014

Carlsbad, NM - January 2014 -  One of the state's power suppliers is bolstering its presence in Southeastern New Mexico.

Xcel Energy plans to hire more workers in the near future once construction is complete on the company's new 23,500 square-foot building that sits on about 4 to 4 ½ acres of land on the southwestern portion of Carlsbad, according to company officials.

Employees of the power company gathered at 1601 Commerce Rd., along with city officials, for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon that included Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway and Carlsbad Department of Development director John Waters.

"I think this will get us going and keep us set for the future," said Ben Jaime, Xcel Energy's regional manager for community and economic development. "This facility not only helps us grow but it also helps us house more employees."

The new building is set to be completed by mid-June and enables the company to expand its services in the region by housing a transmission crew at the facility to repair and maintain high-voltage power lines, according to Xcel Energy's director for construction and design Jay Smith.

"Right now we frankly just don't have the facilities to be able to house one of those crews," Smith said. "Our transmission department plans to put a crew down in this area and this building will allow for that kind of expansion."

Xcel Energy's operations in Carlsbad are currently housed at 2007 Algerita St. in a 50 year-old, 14,000 square-foot building standing on 2 ½ acres of land. Xcel Energy has tripled the amount of engineering employees in last two years and more than doubled its power line workers in the last 18 months, contributing to a cramped workspace according to Smith.

"I don't know that we are going to do anything dramatically different, just better," said Gargi Duttgupta, a project manager for Xcel Energy. "Once you have a better facility, you can service the area better. Now we have more room to house trucks and a better way to house all the operations."

Xcel Energy's new building costs somewhere between $3.76 million to $4.23 million, according to Duttgupta who couldn't give an exact figure because construction costs varied from anywhere between $160 to $180 per square foot.