Messy divorce on the way for Boulder and Xcel Energy?
By: SGN Staff
It was a rocky marriage to begin with, but the 'strained' relationship between Xcel Energy and Boulder, Colorado seems to be moving from bad to worse. A news report from Inside Climate News says the city council is expected to vote in favor of severing ties with Xcel and going it alone, despite the cost and risks.
And it didn't help that earlier this month a Colorado PUC administrative law judge told the company it hadn't shown sufficient benefits from its Boulder SmartGridCity project to justify recovering the remaining $16.6 million in project costs it says it is owed, according to the Denver Post. Xcel has not made a decision on whether it will appeal the ruling. If it does, the matter will get kicked back to the PUC for a final decision. If not, the judge's decision stands although the PUC can review it. The city, of course, endorsed the judge's decision.
If an appeal is filed, the city, consumer counsel and others involved in the case will have two weeks to provide a response.
A city council vote in favor of municipalization would mean the city buys the existing electric grid infrastructure and operates it. The vote is expected in April. If the city goes through with it, the Inside Climate News article said it would be the first municipal utility created with the intent to adopt more clean energy and reduce pollution. Support for a municipal utility is very strong but not unanimous in the council and community.