In a move to upgrade and improve energy transmission, the El Paso Electric company announced more than a year ago that it wants to build a new substation in southeast Las Cruces.
The project would go up on a 3.7-acre site off of Soledad Canyon Road in the community of Talavera.
That community has been enjoying both a population boom and a boom in new residential construction, with many houses priced between $200,000 to more than $1 million.
But residents of the community, represented by the Talavera Community Association, have expressed their opposition to the construction of the substation.
Specifically, those residents have said they are worried about a possible negative impact that the substation will have on property values.
The project has also been criticized by opponents who have raised questions regarding whether or not it is cost effective.
Now, members of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission have voted in favor of delaying a final decision on the new substation until El Paso Electric officials can respond to specific questions about the project.
It is not yet known when the commission will take up the matter again.
If ultimately approved, the project would see the construction of some 23 miles of new transmission lines, and the rebuilding of more than 10 lines.
Last summer, the Las Cruces district of the Bureau of Land Management, which owns the land needed for the substation, approved the project.
El Paso Electric officials have earlier said that more than a dozen sites were considered for the new substation, with the company ultimately deciding on the Talavera location.
By Garry Boulard
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