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City Receives Bids to Serve Potential Local Electric Utility

The City of Boulder is releasing today a summary of responses to its request for proposals (RFP) to provide power supply and financing for a potential city-run electric utility.

The city received two bids that could fulfill all the power supply requirements of a local electric utility that would achieve the city’s 100% renewable electricity by 2030 target. The city also received additional bids for individual solar, wind and battery storage projects that could supply a municipal electric utility or could be developed in partnership with Xcel Energy.

“We are pleased with the bids received,” said Steve Catanach, director of Climate Initiatives. “We look forward to spending some time to dive in, evaluate the proposals and share more details as they become available.” 

According to initial analysis, these bids are consistent with the pricing received in responses to the city’s 2018 Request for Indicative Pricing. City staff is conducting additional analysis of the bids and plans to conduct interviews with the respondents in September to learn more.

To protect the proprietary information provided in the bids, the responses to the RFP are confidential. As the city continues its analysis of the bids, the city will provide more information when possible.

The RFP, released last month, sought bids that will help the city determine key details for the electric utility, including the cost to purchase power from one or more independent power suppliers; the percentage of renewables a city-run electricity could achieve on day one of operations, and by 2030, when the city seeks to achieve 100% renewable electricity; and opportunities to participate in community-scale renewable power.

The city also sought innovative financing mechanisms to help the city complete municipalization. This could include financing for work leading up to the community vote, and/or — after voter approval — financing for start-up costs, separation costs and costs to purchase the necessary electric distribution infrastructure from Xcel Energy.

A core focus of this phase of the city’s municipalization work is determining key details of the costs and benefits of a local electric utility prior to the community decision.

Meanwhile, the community and City Council process to evaluate potential settlement agreements with Xcel Energy continue in parallel to the city’s Local Power work. Council will hold a public hearing and vote on the settlement a special meeting on Thursday, Aug. 20. Watch the meeting online beginning at 6 p.m. Members of the public who wish to participate in the public hearing must register online by 5 p.m. on Thursday.

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 Energy’s and creating robust financial analysis tools that evaluate the financial viability of a local electric utility. Throughout this process, Boulder has engaged its active and knowledgeable community to help shape its efforts towards an energy future that is clean, affordable, equitable, reliable and resilient.

Published: Aug. 19, 2020

Media Contact:
Emily Sandoval, Media Relations, 970-210-1225