Municipalization and Solar Energy
What does Boulder’s potential municipalization mean for my solar system?
Residents and businesses who have solar or are looking to invest in solar energy or solar gardens have asked whether their Solar*Rewards contracts with Xcel will be honored. The city has committed to ensuring customers are kept whole. We are seeking information from Xcel that would help us define what that means.
In the June 13, 2014 press release we offer the following information for current and future solar subscribers:
Xcel Energy has proposed changes to future solar contracts in Boulder that would only apply to Boulder customers and are a reaction to the possible creation of a local electric utility. These changes could create uncertainty for customers who want to invest in solar installations moving forward, and make solar ownership less cost-effective. Boulder is proposing an alternative plan that would effectively result in the same outcome whether Boulder municipalizes or not and ensure that both customers and Xcel Energy would not be harmed financially. In this proposal, if the city municipalizes, the city would track and transfer to Xcel Energy all renewable energy credits (RECs) generated through existing customer contracts. Boulder would take over responsibility for net metering for these solar customers. Boulder sees this as the simplest approach for everyone since it essentially maintains the status quo.
Xcel Energy’s filing asks the PUC to prohibit solar gardens from being developed in Boulder, and to prohibit customers from becoming subscribers to solar gardens in Boulder. The city considers this particularly ironic since Boulder helped to draft and facilitate the passage of the state legislation allowing solar gardens in Colorado. In today’s filing, the city is agreeing to assume any new contracts for in-city gardens and work with local solar garden developers to ensure that their subscribers are limited to individuals who would be served by a Boulder electric utility if the city creates one in the future.
To learn more about solar in Boulder, check out https://bouldercolorado.gov/solar.