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Xcel subsidiary asks FERC to assert authority in Boulder move to create municipal utility

From the September 3, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published September 3, 2014

By Paul Ciampoli
News Director
Public Service Company of Colorado is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to rule that an effort by the City of Boulder, Colorado, to acquire portions of the Xcel Energy subsidiary’s electric system through condemnation requires prior approval from FERC.

Boulder in July filed a condemnation petition in Boulder District Court seeking to acquire portions of the electric system owned by Xcel Energy that are necessary to create a municipal electric utility (see Public Power DailyJuly 22, 2014).

The petition filed by Boulder seeks to acquire all or portions of nine substations that serve Boulder and the 115-kV transmission loop serving the city, as well as related facilities, equipment and lines.
But in an August 26 petition, Public Service Company of Colorado told FERC that Boulder’s attempt to acquire the utility’s transmission facilities and associated substations by condemnation requires prior FERC approval under section 203 of the Federal Power Act.

The utility said that FERC has jurisdiction under section 203 because the facilities in question provide transmission service in interstate commerce and have a value in excess of $10 million. Public Service Co. of Colorado specifically cited section 203(a)(1) of the FPA, which provides that "No public utility shall, without first having  secured an order of the Commission authorizing it to do so," sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the whole of its facilities subject to the jurisdiction of FERC, "or any part thereof" of a value in excess of $10 million.

According to the filing, the Xcel subsidiary currently serves approximately 240 MW of load in Boulder, which represents around 4% of Public Service Company of Colorado’s total retail load. 

Public Service Company of Colorado is asking FERC to act on its petition within 120 days of the filing of the petition.


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