PUC grants Boulder approval to transfer Xcel assets

BOULDER — The Colorado Public Utilities Commission granted the city of Boulder approval to transfer some assets from Xcel to the city of Boulder in Boulder’s effort to create a community-owned, city-run electric utility. The decision ends the multi-year process before the commission that began in 2015.

The city still needs to put the utility decision to a vote of the public, which may happen in 2020.

“I am pleased with today’s outcome and I want to thank the commissioners and their staff for their commitment to helping Boulder define a path for 21st-century municipalization,” City Manager Jane Brautigam said upon hearing news of the decision on Thursday.  “This process has not been without setbacks and challenges, and it is gratifying to receive today’s decision.”

PUC approval is a key step in the local power project. In a future election, Boulder voters will determine whether the city ultimately creates a local electric utility. Prior to this vote, the city’s work is focused on identifying key costs; one of these is the cost to acquire parts of the existing electric system from Xcel Energy. The ruling clarifies what the city will seek to acquire through condemnation, the process that will determine the acquisition cost.

The ruling grants approval for the transfer of assets outside substations. In September, the commission issued an order that defines the process to transfer assets inside substations. This process, which will not involve the PUC, requires agreements between the city and Xcel.

 

BOULDER — The Colorado Public Utilities Commission granted the city of Boulder approval to transfer some assets from Xcel to the city of Boulder in Boulder’s effort to create a community-owned, city-run electric utility. The decision ends the multi-year process before the commission that began in 2015.

The city still needs to put the utility decision to a vote of the public, which may happen in 2020.

“I am pleased with today’s outcome and I want to thank the commissioners and their staff for their commitment to helping Boulder define a path for 21st-century municipalization,” City Manager Jane Brautigam said upon hearing news of the decision on Thursday.  “This process has not been without setbacks and challenges, and it is gratifying to receive today’s decision.”

PUC approval is a key step in the local power project. In a future election, Boulder voters will determine whether the city ultimately creates a local electric utility. Prior to this vote, the city’s work is focused on identifying key costs; one of these is the cost to acquire parts of the existing electric system from Xcel Energy. The ruling clarifies what the city will seek to acquire through condemnation, the process that will determine the acquisition cost.

The ruling grants approval for the transfer of assets outside substations. In September, the commission issued an order that defines the process to transfer assets inside substations. This process, which will not involve the PUC, requires agreements between the city and Xcel.