June 8, 2016 - Boulder, Xcel Energy Acknowledge Settlement Discussions
Patrick Von Keyserling, Director of Communication, 303-441-4959
Michelle Aguayo, Xcel Energy, 303-294-4959
Boulder, Xcel Energy acknowledge settlement discussions
BOULDER- The City of Boulder and Xcel Energy today announced that representatives from each entity are engaged in discussions about a possible settlement to ongoing litigation related to the city's efforts to purchase certain Xcel Energy property and operate an electric utility within the city.
The parties are discussing possible terms, including ways they could partner to support each other’s shared objectives and plans related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable energy, increasing electric customer choice and program offerings, and supporting local pilot projects that would test innovative solutions associated with electricity generation, delivery and management. The city is also interested in having a greater voice in investments made to the infrastructure that serves Boulder. Under the terms of any settlement, Xcel Energy would continue to provide electric service to all customers within Boulder city limits.
The city’s Charter requires voter approval of any franchise agreement between the city and Xcel Energy. The discussions are expected to continue over the next few months. If the parties agree to formally present a proposed settlement to City Council prior to late July, the question of an agreement could be put on the November 2016 ballot. That timeframe does not preclude a settlement occurring later, in which case a question could be put on the November 2017 ballot or on a special election ballot in the interim. Both sides are committed to participating fully in the public process associated with possible ballot items.
While settlement negotiations are typically confidential and sensitive in nature, Boulder and Xcel Energy have decided to publicly acknowledge this ongoing process in an effort to be as transparent and open as possible. This being said, the nature and extent of the discussions will remain confidential unless and until a conceptual agreement is reached, at which time it will be shared with the community and impacted stakeholders. The settlement would require Colorado Public Utilities Commission review and approval.
During the discussions, neither the city or Xcel Energy is halting various legal matters, but they are hopeful these discussions will be productive. The city and Xcel Energy also understand there is significant community and customer interest in an agreement between the two entities.
"Both Boulder and Xcel Energy share numerous objectives and goals," said David Eves, president of Xcel Energy in Colorado. "We believe working together we can take advantage of each other’s strengths and plans to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy and provide more customer choice and programs, which could serve as a roadmap for other communities in Colorado and the nation. The City of Boulder has been a longtime driver of change, and I hope to work with the city to continue providing excellent service to our electric customers, driving ground-breaking energy policy in Colorado and making a positive difference."
“While we are continuing to evaluate the company’s proposals as they are filed with the Public Utilities Commission, we respect the recent steps Xcel Energy has taken to increase renewable energy sources in its new plan and revisit some of the regulatory limitations that make this challenging in Colorado. This makes good environmental and economic sense,” said City Manager Jane Brautigam. “Engaging in sincere dialogue with Xcel Energy is consistent with the city’s commitment to consider all options for achieving our community’s energy goals. I am excited that we have come together to once again explore the possibility of a meaningful partnership.”