Boulder Issues RFP For Power Supplies, Financing Tied To Possible Municipal Utility Formation
July 21, 2020
by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
Posted July 21, 2020
The City of Boulder, Colo., recently issued a request for proposals that seeks power supply and innovative financing for a potential city municipal utility.
Responses to the RFP, which are due Aug. 14, will allow the city to finalize key details of the utility, the city noted.
“We are interested to see what the open market can provide to Boulder,” said Steve Catanach, who heads the city’s Local Power project. “We know there are companies eager to show Boulder they can provide high levels of renewables and meet our energy goals at reasonable costs, and I look forward to seeing their proposals.”
The RFP seeks bids that will help the city determine key details for the electric utility, including:
* The cost to purchase power from an independent power supplier;
* The amount of renewables a city-run electricity could achieve on day one of operations, and by 2030, when the city seeks to achieve 100% renewable electricity; and
* Opportunities to participate in community-scale renewable power within the city limits and Boulder County, as well as large-scale renewable projects in the region.
The city is also seeking innovative financing mechanisms to help the city complete municipalization. This could include financing for work leading up to the community vote, and/or — after voter approval — financing for start-up costs, separation costs and costs to purchase the necessary electric distribution infrastructure from investor-owned Xcel Energy.
A core focus of this phase of the city’s municipalization work is determining key details of the costs and benefits of a local electric utility prior to the community decision, the city noted.
Boulder said that the RFP released last week has long been in the Local Power work plan and builds on a 2018 request for indicative pricing that demonstrated that there are power providers that can provide a reliable electricity supply to the city while meeting the city’s energy goals at reasonable costs.
Negotiations with Xcel Energy continue in parallel with Local Power work
Meanwhile, the city’s negotiations with Xcel Energy continue in parallel to the city’s Local Power work.
An update on the negotiations and a summary of public feedback is scheduled to be provided at a city council meeting on Tuesday, July 21.
Boulder, Colo., and Xcel Energy in May initiated discussions that could lead to different options for the city to pursue other than a city-run, community owned electric utility in order to reach its energy-related goals.