AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo's historic San Jacinto neighborhood is receiving an electrical upgrade thanks to Xcel Energy.
They are investing $530,000 to boost the distribution grid in the area.The San Jacinto area is currently served by a 4-kilovolt system, but substations, lines and transformers in the area will soon be upgraded to a 15-kilovolt service. This is the standard distribution voltage in other parts of the city. While it will benefit the neighborhood and surrounding areas, Xcel Energy Spokesman Wes Reeves said having everyone on the same voltage will make them a more reliable service.
"As we get into spring storm season, if there's an outage in that area, we can easily tap neighboring areas that are 15-kilovolt and bring power in while we make repairs," said Reeves.
Reeves also said the project will start in the San Jacinto area and move East toward Grand Street, bringing more economic growth to businesses on old Route 66. Smokey Joe's owner, Kevin Sims said they haven't experienced recent power outages, but it will definitely keep them up and running for business in the future.
"Between internet service and electricity, that's what keeps our business operating. So if we don't have electricity or internet, we are out of business," said Sims.
Sims also said he is proud that Xcel is willing to spend money in the area because of how old the San Jacinto neighborhood is. Xcel officials said they will notify customers ahead of time and work with them during planned outages as conversions are made.