Community Engagement

Boulder files petition to condemn Xcel’s electric distribution assets

The City of Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 19 filed a petition to condemn Xcel Energy’s electric distribution assets in Boulder District Court following good faith negotiations with the Minneapolis-based company.

The filing is in support of Boulder’s Local Power project, the city’s exploration of creating a city-run, community-owned electric utility, the city noted.

The condemnation process will determine the price the city will pay for the assets, a key variable in the city’s municipalization exploration.

The city will not be required to pay the cost determined by the court until voters approve moving forward with the creation of the utility after the condemnation amount and other key project costs are publicized and construction to separate Boulder’s electric distribution system from Xcel’s is complete.

The petition describes the electric infrastructure the city seeks to acquire from Xcel, including the existing electric distribution facilities and the property interests necessary to operate those facilities. The petition does not include assets inside substations.

In a Nov. 20 letter, the city offered to purchase certain portions of Xcel Energy electric infrastructure for $93.96 million. The parties met to discuss the offer but could not reach an agreement.

Boulder’s petition to condemn Xcel Energy electric distribution assets is available here.

Prior 2019 condemnation petition

In June, the city filed a petition in District Court to condemn Xcel Energy assets. This case was dismissed by the District Court in September. The District Court granted Xcel’s motion to dismiss, saying that a Colorado PUC process was incomplete. The PUC issued a final ruling Oct. 28 that approved transfer of Xcel Energy assets outside substations to the city.

In October, the city filed a notice of appeal of the condemnation dismissal. This appeal will continue in parallel to the new condemnation petition.