Boulder, Colo., pushes to split with Xcel Energy

  • Article by: David Shaffer , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 17, 2013 - 9:22 PM

After years of study, Boulder is making final preparations to break away and launch its own greener municipal power utility.

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physics1966Apr. 18, 13 5:31 AM

Many of the Boulder people are engineers and scientists. Xcel has engineers and scientists, but not engineers and scientists who have their heart in the game in the same way that the Boulder engineers and scientists do. And the Boulder group is smarter and better educated and more resourceful than the Xcel group.

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chemvironmentalistApr. 18, 13 7:04 AM

Boulder will be experimenting with the electric grid stability for their residents and corporations. One thing will be sure, their cost per kilowatt hour will go up. Just look at all the other similar experiments, LA ($.26/KWH), Germany, Denmark, etc.

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blueswedeApr. 18, 13 9:32 AM

Excel energy has proven over the years that they are against any alternative energy sources. The people of Colorado voted for wind and solar to be part of a plan for the future. Excel Energy fought against that vote and lost. My company has solar panels and Excel has been no help at all in the process.

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davehougApr. 18, 1311:38 AM

And what happens if city projections are not as rosy as sold to the voters? They are still on the hook for additional expenses not anticipated. My bet is in 10 years you will NOT see cities asking to drop their utility and go it on their own.

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napmikeholApr. 19, 13 1:13 PM

Hopefully, the cities of Boulder and Minneapolis can do a better job than Xcel and their regulatory commissions in Colorado and Minnesota, but it will be even worse if they try to get more than 50 percent from wind. Xcel and the Minnesota PUC have been favoring wind power by claiming it is competitive with prices at MISO (2 to 5 cents per kWh), when costs are actually over 15 cents. They are hiding added costs to the ratepayer of about 5 cents needed for added transmission and backup (due to the intermittency of wind power). Utilities also fail to mention that taxpayers are already forced to pay subsidies (Production Tax Credit, accelerated depreciation, etc.) that reduce direct costs from more than 10 to about four cents. They are also discouraging lower-cost renewables. Even besides rigging the bidding for wind energy, utility monopolies are allowed to satisfy their renewable energy mandates by bidding without tight regulatory oversight or even just building it themselves without bidding. As long as utilities decide who gets future markets, risk investors will be reluctant to invest in the development of new technologies.

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