Closeup: Boulder, Colorado And The Five-Year Effort To Form An Electric Utility Drawing To A Close

Concerning those sometimes thorny challenges of municipalities threatening to form their own electric utility, UtilityDIVE has provided a comprehensive report on what appears to be a five-year municipalization fight between Boulder — home to the University of Colorado — and utility giant Xcel Energy drawing to a close.

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It all started when Boulder, Colorado voters elected to form their own municipal electric utility, the city’s push to leave Xcel Energy could be peacefully settled.

“We really are pursuing parallel paths in terms of our energy goals,” said Jonathan Koehn, regional sustainability coordinator for the city of Boulder. “I think there is a perception we somehow hate one another but that just isn’t true. There’s litigation, but that’s how you get through these things.”

Boulder officials hope to have something in front of the public before year’s end. It could wind up taking the form of a negotiated agreement or collaboration with Xcel — a commitment from the utility to supply more renewable power and reduce electricity generation emissions.

There remain the possibility this city will move forward with its municipalization plans. But this will mean another ballot initiative.

Either direction will bring change to Boulder’s energy supply infrastructure, focusing on a more environmental-orientation in producing electricity and accelerating a low-carbon transition.

We will report on the progress of this challenge.

Meanwhile, read Robert Walton’s story on UtilityDIVE for more comprehensive background.

Bottom line, this challenge will prove top be a win for cleaner electricity generation and the reduction of carbon emissions.

Image via Shutterstock

Source: UtilityDIVE

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