Filing begins process to finalize the cost to acquire assets from Xcel, decision will inform future community vote on Local Power

Today, the City of Boulder filed a petition to condemn Xcel Energy electric distribution assets in Boulder District Court. The filing is in support of Boulder’s Local Power project, the city’s exploration of creating a city-run, community-owned electric utility. 

Friday’s filing begins a process that will determine a key variable in the city’s municipalization exploration: the cost to buy some of the existing electric system from Xcel Energy. The city expects that the District Court will hold a valuation trial in 2020 to determine this cost. The city will not pay the cost determined by the court unless:

  • Voters approve moving forward with the creation of the utility after the condemnation amount and other key project variables are publicized; and
  • Construction of Boulder’s separate electric system is complete.

“One of our jobs is to give the community a clear sense of the financial impacts of creating the utility,” said Steve Catanach, director of Climate Initiatives. “The process we’ve begun today will continue moving this effort forward.”

The filing, available on the city’s website, 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.

In December 2018, City Council authorized the city to move forward with the acquisition process, including authorization to condemn the assets if the parties didn’t reach agreement. Subsequently, the city sent Xcel a Notice of Intent to Acquire to begin negotiations. The city originally offered $68.5 million for the infrastructure, a price based on the appraised value of the assets. In June, the city offered to $82 million, increasing the offer in an attempt to avoid litigation. Xcel did not respond to the city’s offers.

About Local Power

Local Power is the city’s effort to bring clean, local, affordable and reliable electricity to the community by developing a community-owned local electric utility. The project is a key component of the city’s Energy Future strategy, as well as the city’s Climate Commitment. The city seeks to build an energy future that is clean, local, reliable, secure and provides value.

Learn more at


Filed June 28, 2019

Media Contacts:

Emily Sandoval, 303-441-1927

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