The Colorado Public Utilities Commission last week affirmed the oral decision that Boulder cannot acquire Xcel Energy facilities that exclusively serve customers outside city limits, and that the commissioners won't force the utility to share facilities with the city.
According to a report from The Daily Camera, the commission on Nov. 4 had partially dismissed an application from the city of Boulder to acquire facilities, including substations and distribution infrastructure, outside city limits for the creation of a city-run energy utility. But the commission also ruled that it would allow Boulder and Xcel to engage in discovery and allow the city to supplement its original application after it learns more about Xcel's system.
Boulder officials had formally asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in July to approve the transfer to the city equipment and assets owned by Xcel Energy Inc. This was a major step in their years-long effort to create a new city-owned utility.
Boulder voters in 2011 approved the creation of a new utility as long as several conditions were met, including that the new utility could meet or beat Xcel’s service in terms of reliability and rates. In November 2013, Boulder voters also set a cap of $214 million in debt that the city could take on to pay for Xcel’s equipment needed to serve the new utility, as reported in the Denver Business Journal.
Boulder is targeting a December 2017 start date for a city-owned utility.