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Boulder, Xcel Energy Enter Settlement Discussions on Municipalization

May 20, 2020
The city’s municipalization work will continue throughout negotiations, but the city and Xcel Energy hope for productive discussions.

The City of Boulder and Xcel Energy last week announced that they have begun discussions that may lead to new pathways to reach the city’s energy future goals as an alternative to a city-run, community owned electric utility.

The city is committed to transparency and will conduct a full public process to evaluate any potential settlement. Any franchise agreement would be subject to voter approval.

“When the city started this journey toward its own electric utility, the community had a clear vision to increase local renewable energy, eliminate carbon emissions from its electricity system, improve disaster resilience and provide greater democratic influence in energy decision-making processes,” said Mayor Sam Weaver. “We believe our efforts over the past decade have contributed to Xcel Energy’s emission-reduction commitments. While our specific targets don’t yet totally align, I am hopeful we can work together to bridge the remaining gaps. I am cautiously optimistic that negotiations could be successful and feel that, no matter the ultimate outcome of municipalization, our community’s investment in the project has paid dividends locally and across the country.”

“We are optimistic that we can work with Boulder officials to help the city achieve its unique energy goals, just as we’re successfully helping other communities across Colorado to achieve their own energy goals,” said Alice Jackson, president, Xcel Energy – Colorado. “We are proud to lead the nation’s clean energy transition as the first energy company with a vision to deliver 100 percent carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050 and are well positioned to assist Boulder in reaching its own energy priorities. We look forward to an engaging conversation on what we can achieve together.”

The city’s municipalization work will continue throughout negotiations, but the city and Xcel Energy are hopeful these discussions will be productive. Both the city and the company recognize that there is significant community and customer interest in coming to an agreement and productive path forward.

Weaver said the city anticipates online and potentially in-person public engagement about potential settlement throughout the summer. Any settlement agreement would require a public hearing before City Council and the city’s Charter requires voter approval of any franchise agreement.

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