PUC creates path forward for Boulder municipal electric plan

 

DENVER (Aug. 31, 2017) — The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved a partial list of electric distribution assets that the city of Boulder is seeking to acquire from Xcel Energy. The decision gives Boulder a path forward in its effort to create its own municipal electric utility.

In oral deliberations before PUC Commissioners on Wednesday, Aug. 30, the PUC approved with three conditions a list of distribution facilities outside of substations that Boulder needs to operate its own utility. The city could use that list in a future condemnation proceeding that would set the value that Boulder would have to pay for the assets. The PUC denied as premature Boulder’s request to authorize inclusion of facilities inside substations.

The PUC’s written decision is expected around mid-September.

The PUC said final approval of the assets to be transferred would be conditioned on (1) the filing of an agreement between Boulder and Xcel providing permanent rights for Xcel to place and access facilities in Boulder it needs to continue to serve its customers; (2) the filing of a revised list of assets that is accurate and complete; and (3) the filing of an agreement that addresses payment from Boulder to Xcel for costs incurred by Xcel during separation. The PUC requested those filings within 90 days.

The PUC declined to approve other parts of Boulder’s proposed separation plan, stating that the requests were premature, outside of PUC authority and/or not in the public interest. The PUC rejected a proposal that Xcel be required to finance and construct the proposed separation work; and declined to require co-location of facilities at substations or joint use of electric poles.

The PUC also denied as premature IBM’s request to be excluded from the municipal utility’s service territory, stating that there is insufficient evidence at this time to determine if Boulder is unwilling or unable to serve IBM. But the PUC said IBM could raise the issue again at a later date.

The PUC is a division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies.

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About PUC

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) serves the public interest by effectively regulating utilities and facilities so that the people of Colorado receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services consistent with the economic, environmental and social values of our state. Visit www.colorado.gov/dora/puc.

About DORA

The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855/toll free 1-800-886-7675 outside Denver.