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District Court Stays Boulder’s Municipalization Condemnation Case

Today, District Court Judge Andrew MacDonald has granted Xcel Energy’s motion to stay the City of Boulder’s condemnation case. The case, which the city filed in December, will be stayed until the final resolution of pending appellate issues. Judge MacDonald attached Xcel Energy's proposed motion to stay to his one-page ruling.

Judge MacDonald did not respond to Xcel Energy’s motion to dismiss and dismissed the city’s motion for an evidentiary hearing.

The city pursued condemnation to determine the price the city will pay for the assets, a key variable in the city’s municipalization exploration, sometimes referred to as “acquisition cost.”

The city’s appeal of the District Court’s September 2019 condemnation dismissal is still ongoing. This matter has been fully briefed before the court of appeals. The city has requested oral argument prior to the court’s decision. Filings are available in the city’s records archive.

Acquisition Background

  • December 2018: City council approved moving forward with the acquisition process, including condemnation of Xcel’s assets if the parties did not reach agreement.
  • Spring 2019: The city made its first offer to Xcel for the assets, $68.5 million based on the appraisal including assets inside substations.
  • June 2019: The city increased its final offer to $82 million. Xcel did not respond to the city’s offers.
  • June 2019: The city filed a petition in District Court to condemn Xcel Energy assets.
  • September 2019: The Boulder District Court dismissed the city’s condemnation petition, granting Xcel’s motion to dismiss on grounds that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) process was incomplete.
  • October 2019: The PUC issued a final ruling Oct. 28 that allows the city to transfer assets outside substations; the city and Xcel must come to agreement for assets inside substations in a process that will not involve the PUC.
  • October 2019: The city filed a notice of appeal of the condemnation dismissal. This appeal will continue in parallel to the condemnation petition.
  • November 2019: The city offered to purchase Xcel’s assets outside substations for $93.96 million, an amount the city hoped Xcel would seriously consider.
  • December 2019: Today, the City of Boulder filed a petition to condemn Xcel Energy electric distribution assets in Boulder District Court following good faith negotiations with the Minneapolis-based company.

About Local Power

Local Power is the city's effort to bring clean, local, affordable and reliable electricity to the community by developing a community-owned local electric utility. The project is a key component of the city's Energy Future strategy, as well as the city's Climate Commitment. The city seeks to build an energy future that is clean, local, reliable, secure and provides value.

For the latest Local Power news, including information on litigation, visit

Media Contacts

Emily Sandoval, Media Relations, 970-210-1225

Patrick Von Keyserling, Media Relations, 720-607-2791