“And we tied up a bunch of legal loose ends,” he says. The idea, Carr wrote, is that the Council did not specifically refer negotiations to a committee, and Yates and Weaver were acting in an “informal advisory role without a delegation.” (This email was provided to BW by Pomerance separate from the CORA request.). Still, it was a difficult decision to put the agreement before voters. Yates and Weaver both say this discussion was “non-substantive,” and that it didn’t include talk of a potential settlement agreement. Not so much who pays for it or what the economics of it are, but are these things that can help other cities get to a higher level renewable energy.”. And a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between the City and Xcel was executed on April 30; it included, among other items, ways the company could meet its 80% carbon emission reduction target by 2030 and an agreement not to use the proceeding negotiations in the ongoing municipalization litigation between the two parties. We also got a better sense of the motivations of City and Xcel officials at various points of the negotiation process. Boulder, Colo. voters approve franchise agreement with Xcel Energy Boulder, Colorado, voters approved a new 20-year franchise agreement with Xcel Energy on Tuesday, solidifying a partnership aimed at helping the city achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. So the City and Xcel began the negotiation process, officially announcing it to the public on May 12. So, what happens if the City claims Xcel hasn’t met its targets and Xcel says it has? The landscape in which the two entities entered negotiations was also different this year. Still, an internal City email indicates that Xcel had asked the City of Boulder to run policy positions by the company first as part of the negotiations. Even without Xcel involved, a robust campaign organized in support of the franchise agreement, spearheaded in part by Yates. ballot measures).”. On Monday, Jan. 4, the company announced its plans to retire both units of the Hayden Generating Station in northwest Colorado by 2028, ahead of schedule. Yates says “nothing substantive” was discussed at that meeting — it was a meet-and-greet more or less, as he just stopped by the Xcel office on the way to a Rockies game. Xcel Energy is poised to stay in Boulder for decades after voters there approved the city entering a utility franchise agreement with the power provider and ending an effort to form a city utility. Xcel Energy submitted its electric transportation plan after a 2019 law cleared the way for regulated utilities to invest in equipment and programs to boost the use of electric vehicles, one of Gov. Weaver says this level of input was unique, because this partnership is unique, given that Xcel is a monopoly and Boulder partners with it to provide electricity whether in franchise agreement or not. Can planting trees make a city more equitable? The partnership agreement includes provisions that set forth carbon emission reduction targets for Xcel Energy between now and 2030: If Xcel does not achieve these targets, the city will have the opportunity to opt out of the franchise in 2023, 2025 and 2028. “We have to line up on both pieces and that was discussed in our negotiations and in the settlement.”. As is often the case in Colorado, our CORA request came with a hefty price tag: $1,050 for the City’s time to locate and review the documents for sensitive material. “We see their commercials, we see their billboards about how green they are. The goal of the city's partnership is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with gas and electricity consumption, electrify, and boost resilience and equity in Boulder. “To me it met the threshold of good enough to take to the voters,” Weaver says. “I had to ask myself the question, what is good enough?” he says. Yates’ notes from the meeting indicate plenty was discussed. Jackson says, however, the City’s potential financial issues did not factor into the company’s decision to enter settlement negotiations. “Just the press of walking away, because they’re not hitting their emissions targets or at year five walking away because they’re not a good partner on projects,” Weaver says, “that’s going to be worse than not having done this in the first place.”. The new franchise agreement, approved by voters in 2020 allows the city could exit at certain times, described in this table: Several groups, including the public, provide input and oversight into the partnership. Council could elect to put an opt-out question on the ballot, or citizens can file a petition to do the same. “The 2C campaign made a strong effort to create the impression that Gov. Perhaps the biggest selling point of the franchise agreement is that Boulder, somehow, is going to be able to be able to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030 due to shifting attitudes about microgrids and distribution system planning from Xcel. In addition to this work, Xcel Energy will complete the replacement of five structures located in Bear Canyon in 2019 on the segment we started in 2018 but were unable to complete due to snow stor… And the fact that Xcel, as a monopoly, didn’t feel they had to talk to their customers is just a reflection in my mind of what happens when you let a monopoly run loose for a century.”. Through the NDA executed on April 30, the City saw how Xcel thinks it can get to 80% carbon emission reductions by 2030 based on 2005 levels, which is required by the state. “I’ve been in court five times with Xcel. “I think it was pretty public and pretty transparent. Still, given all of the City’s messaging before the election on this agreement about how much the City extracted out of Xcel, there still isn’t much that’s going to push the energy giant toward sustainability more than what the state is already requiring it to do. The city and Xcel will share information and collaboratively innovate projects that Xcel can scale across their system. However, it has yet to change its plans for the Pawnee Generation Station and Comanche 3 coal-fired plants, both of which are slated to run for decades to come. 14--Boulder on Wednesday made a final offer of $82 million to Xcel Energy to acquire its assets in the city's bid to create its own municipal electric utility. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . “When you have two parties that are making a joint announcement on a pretty big deal, it’s not unusual for them to work on the language together to make sure that they’re in sync and aligned,” Yates adds. I think that would be a normal procedure.”. The meeting was arranged at the request of Jackson, according to emails from City Attorney Tom Carr, with the discussion to be focused on distribution planning. But I have just seen enough of Xcel that I don’t trust them,” Glustrom says. “The five-year, they really have no basis for contesting. This included Xcel’s secrecy around distribution planning and grid modernization, as well as his skepticism of the company’s ability to reach its goal of 80% emissions reduction by 2030. She doesn’t recall any mention of a settlement agreement at that meeting either — Weaver says she may have mentioned it offhand — but did say the end result of that conversation was to set up further meetings with City of Boulder and Xcel staff “to have a deeper conversation on distribution planning and how we move together on that one.”, Yates adds, “Sam and I asked Alice several times at that meeting whether the collaboration that she was proposing was conditioned upon the City slowing down or stopping the municipalization litigation and she said that it was not.”, After the meeting, Yates emailed Jackson on Jan. 11 telling her that he and Weaver would brief City staff on the meeting on Jan. 17 and that they would reach back out to her “to discuss next steps.”. The agreement allows Boulder to use Xcel’s infrastructure to attach fiber for municipal broadband, which has also been on hold during the muni fight. Thank you, again, to those who donated to help make this investigation possible. Most of that advertisement around those programs are things that we, as a legislature have required them to do,” Fenberg says. Find Xcel Energy Boulder jobs on Glassdoor. It … Of the meeting’s content, Jackson says, “I asked a lot of questions to try and get perspective. Because Yates had requested that language, and because he previously worked for Level 3 Communications, from which members spun out to create Zayo Group, which recently was awarded a broadband contract in Boulder, and because Yates lists only “dividends” on his financial disclosure document, we asked if he would stand to benefit financially in any way from municipal broadband, or if he had stock in Zayo. With voters approving the agreement in November, work on this effort has already begun, and per the agreement, Xcel will spend $15 million to complete it within the first five years. Unfortunately, with no projects guaranteed in the agreement, it’s impossible to know. Past franchise agreements between the city and Xcel Energy provided the company the right to use the city’s streets, public places and public easements to serve Boulder customers. This is not a low-cost way to achieve our goals because we’ll pay more for Xcel’s renewables than we should because they’re a monopoly … then we have a gap to fill, so that’s going to be very expensive. Find 32 listings related to Xcel Energy in Boulder on YP.com. “It’s the whole kit and caboodle,” she says. And we have not a clue how we’re going to fill that gap. The parties have also committed to work collaboratively to change current regulations that limit innovation and local renewable development: The potential agreement includes commitments from the city to pause ongoing efforts to create a municipal electric utility if voters approve the settlement. “The only real commitment is that they will talk to us. They will also work with other partners like CU, federal labs and other businesses to develop, test and promote new technologies. Jackson says she believes there was enough public outreach and conversation in the negotiation process this year, as the City held several listening sessions on the topic throughout the summer. After Boulder voters approved Ballot Issue 2C tin November 2020, which entered Boulder and Xcel Energy into a 20-year franchise agreement and paused the City’s pursuit of municipalization, several community members reached out to Boulder Weekly with concerns that the process wasn’t as transparent as it could’ve been. “The fact that there was discussion between the parties as to how it’s to be phrased and how it’s to be announced does not bother me at all. That is still being finalized before the company is required to present its energy resource plan to state regulators at the PUC in March 2021. The potential agreement includes several items that preserve much of the city’s municipalization work to-date and remove potential future barriers to municipalization, including: Most of the time, cities have franchise agreements with public utilities operating within their boundaries. If they want to dispute the science and the measurement, I think that’s not inappropriate,” Wallach says. The Charter, meanwhile, requires that “all meetings of the council or committees thereof” shall be public. And again, it’d be good to know how much it’ll cost burden to implement the types of projects the City needs in order to get to 100% renewables by 2030, especially since the cost of continuing to pursue the muni was a major selling point of this franchise agreement. We welcome the opportunity to help Boulder meet its energy and environmental objectives. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for Xcel Energy locations in Boulder, CO. Franchise Agreements dictate the long-term relationship between the utility and the city and can provide a platform for unique partnership opportunities that may help the city’s progress toward its energy goals. Still, some citizens would have liked to have been more involved. City Council was notified of the discussions on April 22, via a confidential memo from Carr. It’s very much a contractual relationship between a city and a utility,” he says. A $200 million cap on any condemnation award, including acquisition cost, real property interests, going concern, damages to the remainder and purchase of two existing substations, Agreement on issues related to substations and commitments from Xcel that the company will pay the cost of any updates to the existing substation interconnection studies and design drawings. 2005 from a wholesale perspective that we, as a result of that. ” is... For each Project elect to put the agreement before voters to community.... 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