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We're taking 5 and then: Muni. Staff presentation:…
My story: Boulder, Xcel have reached a deal to re-establish a franchise agreement and end the muni. Subject to voter approval this fall, of course.…
Obviously I'll be adding to this after tonight's update. Just want you to have the pertinents
Carr: "I'm here to present a tentative agreement."
If council OKs, first reading and then public hearing will happen (Aug. 18 for the second) and then it will be on Boulder ballots in November.
Some important agreements: Boulder will get *several* chances to opt out, including three times if Xcel doesn't meet it's carbon reduction goals (80% by 2030) and three times "without reason"
So voters could opt-out of a franchise agreement (and resume municipalization efforts) in 2023, 2025, 2026, 2028, 2031 and 2036
Carr: "The city can't enforce Xcel's goals."

True: But whatever plan Xcel files with the PUC (next year), it will be bound to. There is a process to deviate from that, which requires PUC approval.
Carr: "We will need to do some hard work, even with Xcel's reductions" to get to our goal (100% carbon-free by 2030
Agreement also calls for $33M in under grounding (burying power lines) over life of the franchise. That work has been suspended over the 10 years Boulder has been out of franchise.
Xcel will work with Boulder to do some small projects to accelerate carbon reduction here. Also allow local distribution.
Here are the target agreements Xcel will have to meet: 2005 33.9 million tons emitted = Baseline
• 2019 19.5 million tons emitted = 42% reduction - actual
• 2022 16.6 million tons emitted = 52% reduction - target
• 2024 13.6 million tons emitted = 61% reduction - target
• 2027 11.5 million tons emitted = 67% reduction - target
• 2030 6.9 million tons emitted = 80% reduction -
If Xcel doesn't meet those, the next year, Boulder voters will get to say either Stay with Xcel, or back out and attempt municipalization again.
Carr says that could be done by a council vote or a vote of the electorate, on the ballot. (I'll clarify that, bc that's a big one)
State law requires opt-outs for cities at 10 years and 15 years (franchise agreements last 20) so this gives Boulder many, many more chances than it would normally get.
Carr going over some of the specific projects Xcel and Boulder will do: • Microgrids
• Chautauqua – underground lines, 100% renewable mirrored; Demonstration of net zero energy in a historic preservation environment.
• Alpine Balsam: Demonstration of net zero energy in a 9-acre new mixed-use development

• Hydrogen energy storage project – deploy a hydrogen production and storage system

• Cost Sharing
Xcel has also agreed to, in partnership with Boulder, lobby for some changes at the state level:
• Elimination or substantial increase of the 120% limitation on onsite generation

• Develop a new tariff to effectuate the rapid conversion of bus fleets to electric buses
.• Removal of barriers to large amounts of local distributed

• Facilitation of microgrids in specific projects (Chautauqua and Alpine Balsam)

• Xcel will share data with the City in support of projects and programs
OH another big one: Xcel and Boulder agreed to a $200M cap on acquisition if the muni is resumed.
That's HUGE bc going concern and stranded costs were estimated at $300M EACH (though Boulder always insisted they wouldn't have to pay the first and could stretch out payments of the second)
Xcel agreed to "pay the cost of any updates to the existing substation interconnection studies and design drawings."
I will hopefully explain that more later this week bc it's kind of hard to do in a tweet.
Carr covering the UOT, which has two parts
$4.7M that goes to the general fund, implemented in 2010 to replace the franchise fee that Boulder used to pay to Xcel.

Scheduled to expire in 2022.
And $2.1M a year that funds municipalization efforts. That expires in 2022 as well — or when muni efforts end, which it will if voters OK this, Carr says.
But council has the option of repurposing and extending that portion to put toward some of the energy projects mentioned above.
First reading: Aug. 4
Second reading/public hearing: Aug. 18

Ballot content has to be finalized by Sept. 1
Election Nov. 3
PUC would have to review voters decision, if they OK settlement. Then it would go into effect in January.
Weaver: Conversation is tonight, do we go ahead and prepare a first reading?
Big, big, big, big news. (And I say that as someone who has spent months reviewing 10 years of muni history)
Also kind of shocked at all Xcel agreed to. I wish I could say why; I can't because they've NEVER talked to me.
Swetlik: What time of the year would we opt out at, if we did?
Carr: For the carbon emission ones, you would have a year to do that.
Carr reconfirms what I thought he said earlier: That Boulder voters don't HAVE to approve an opt-out; council could do it themselves.
Swetlik: If we don't approve this and continue with muni, what do you think Xcel will do?

Carr: "I believe firmly they will fight us tooth and nail."
Carr: "It's in our interest to litigate condemnation." bc that acquisition cap in the agreement does NOT cover stranded costs (correction to my earlier tweet on that)
Swetlik: I don't see much about equity for lower-income residents here. It's great we open up how much solar you can put on your house, but that only applies to ppl who can afford to put solar on their house.
Carr: "We have very little we can do on rates if we go with Xcel."
Steve Catanach, who leads Local Power (what Boulder calls the muni): We've defined a process for defining the projects we're going to work on together. Some of the core principles to that are equity.
"It has been considered in how we're going to put projects together."
Swetlik: Maybe ppl with excess capacity could donate power to ppl who can't pay their bills. If Xcel could set that up.
Weaver: That's part of the 120% rule.
"One of the ideas of being able to share energy" (across property lines, which is not allowed now) would address exactly that, Weaver says.
Wallach: No guardrails with respect to stranded costs?
Carr: No
Wallach: What's the variance right now with what we think those might be and what they think those might be?
Carr: They think $300-$400M. "Our estimates go right down to zero."
Just.... what?
Carr: "Stranded costs can be paid out of rates later. There are ways we can mitigate stranded costs. Even if there's a stranded cost award, we can mitigate" by not using Xcel's transmission system or buying energy back from them.
Friend: It makes sense to me we'd prepare the ballot item and have a public hearing and let people weigh in on the concept here.
Friend: How do we decide what gets underground in the first five years?
Carr: A lot of folks want to start with Chautauqua. But we'll apply an equity filter to that decision.
Friend: Are we in any worse position on stranded costs than we are now, if we go back under franchise?
Carr: No. The only thing is you don't know what new generation they're building. A lot of this plan is acquiring assets to produce renewable energy. That could increase the bill
(The stranded cost bill)

Carr: "I think it cuts both ways."
Young: Are there any exceptions to the opt-outs we can do "for whatever reason?"
No, Carr says. 6-person vote of council or a vote of the ppl will do it.
Young asked a q about data sharing. I missed it
Jonathan Koehn (who heads something with climate and sustainability) is answering. I'm listening but I am not comprehending.
"We put together a very, very broad set of data requests to Xcel," Koehn says.
Young asks about the UOT.
Carr: I think the tax ends if the muni ends. "I would be very reluctant" to advise council to keep that $$ and use it for something else.
Nagle reads a question about the cost of the future energy projects. "Does that make sense?" she asks. (Clearly not to her; nor to me.)
Carr's answer: It will depend on the project
Nagle: Do any of these things require PUC approval?
Carr: The franchise, yes. I'm not sure anything else needs to be approved by them.
This is the most I've ever heard Nagle speak during a meeting. (With the Celestial Seasonings stuff.)
Brockett: If there was some opportunity we saw that was available out of franchise, but not in franchise, we could opt out and pursue those, right?
Carr: Yes. We've lived without a franchise for 10 years. "We've blazed the trail."
Yates: I think we should move on to a public hearing, so we can get comments.

And wants to ask voters to repurpose the Utility Occupation Tax
There are "innovative" projects here but they'll cost $$, Yates says. Once we repay the general fund, I'd be OK with repurposing that UOT.
"I've not been shy through the years about expressing my opposition to municipalization endeavors," Yates says. But we wouldn't have the package in front of us that we do if we didn't pursue municipalization.
"It has turned out pretty well for the city," Yates says.
Swetlik: We should have a public hearing so we get a full representation of the community.

SUCH an eye roll to think that any gov't process is fully representative of the population.
Ya'll don't know so many ppl who live in this town.
Young echoes Yates. "Without municipalization effort, we wouldn't have gotten here."
She's quoting Jagger and I want to stab myself.
Weaver: Xcel has shown up and devoted considerable resources to this.
Weaver: The "pathway" to 2030 in carbon reductions has never been public before. Now we know how Xcel plans to get there.
Weaver: It was a fairly big deal to get one of the two big question marks settled with a cap: Substations.
"This was an intense effort and everybody involved did their part in working toward a solution," Weaver says.
Young: Is there potential to bring on more partners?
Weaver: Yes, maybe another provider for renewable energy to fill in the gaps.
But maybe also partners in lobbying the state....?
Yates explaining something we've already talked about.
But he has a point: "Our hands are not tied" in advocating at the state level, even for things that Xcel isn't fond of.
That's all for this and all for tonight. (Except for some ass kissing, which I'm too tired to tweet)

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