Boulder, Xcel Energy Enter Settlement Discussions on Municipalization
The city’s municipalization work will continue throughout negotiations, but the city and Xcel Energy hope for productive discussions.
The City of Boulder and Xcel Energy today announced that they have begun discussions that may lead to new pathways to reach the city’s energy future goals as an alternative to a city-run, community owned electric utility.
The city is committed to transparency and will conduct a full public process to evaluate any potential settlement. Any franchise agreement would be subject to voter approval.
“When the city started this journey toward its own electric utility, the community had a clear vision to increase local renewable energy, eliminate carbon emissions from its electricity system, improve disaster resilience and provide greater democratic influence in energy decision-making processes,” said Mayor Sam Weaver. “We believe our efforts over the past decade have contributed to Xcel Energy’s emission-reduction commitments. While our specific targets don’t yet totally align, I am hopeful we can work together to bridge the remaining gaps. I am cautiously optimistic that negotiations could be successful and feel that, no matter the ultimate outcome of municipalization, our community’s investment in the project has paid dividends locally and across the country.”
“We are optimistic that we can work with Boulder officials to help the city achieve its unique energy goals, just as we’re successfully helping other communities across Colorado to achieve their own energy goals,” said Alice Jackson, president, Xcel Energy – Colorado. “We are proud to lead the nation’s clean energy transition as the first energy company with a vision to deliver 100 percent carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050 and are well positioned to assist Boulder in reaching its own energy priorities. We look forward to an engaging conversation on what we can achieve together.”
The city’s municipalization work will continue throughout negotiations, but the city and Xcel Energy are hopeful these discussions will be productive. Both the city and the company recognize that there is significant community and customer interest in coming to an agreement and productive path forward.
Weaver said the city anticipates online and potentially in-person public engagement about potential settlement throughout the summer. Any settlement agreement would require a public hearing before City Council and the city’s Charter requires voter approval of any franchise agreement.
About Local Power
Boulder’s Energy Future goals were established to build an energy future that is clean, local, reliable, secure and provides value back to the community.
Boulder’s efforts have begun to chart a path for 21st-century municipalization. Since the project began, the city has cleared several significant milestones, including gaining regulatory approval of the city’s separation plan, developing detailed engineering plans that will safely separate Boulder’s electric system from Xcel’s, creating robust financial analysis tools that demonstrate the financial viability of a local electric utility and receiving bids from power providers that demonstrate the potential to access high levels of renewables for lower costs.
The city is currently appealing the District Court decision to dismiss the city’s condemnation petition and has indicated that the planned “go/no-go” decision will be delayed until at least 2021.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy has a successful track record of reducing carbon emissions, keeping bills low and expanding clean energy sources in Colorado while also helping customers reduce their own energy use to support a cleaner environment. In Colorado today, 30 percent of the company’s energy comes from renewable sources. The transformative Colorado Energy Plan will increase that renewable percentage to fifty-five by 2026 and deliver a 60 percent carbon reduction. Through collaboration with the State of Colorado during the 2019 Legislative session, the trajectory to achieve the 2030 target of 80 percent carbon reduction is well underway. The Company will bring forward plans to achieve this carbon reduction goal in the Spring of 2021.
Posted May 12, 2020
Patrick von Keyserling, City of Boulder Director of Communications , 720-607-2791
Michelle Aguayo, Xcel Energy Media Representative , 303-294-2300