The people of Boulder, CO continue to move toward taking control of their own electrical power system. They are dumping power giant Xcel Energy because the company cannot meet their power and reliability requirements.
Just this week, a majority of Boulder City Council members decided that creating a municipal energy utility appears to be a viable option with significant community benefits. The city conducted an analysis which found that Boulder could create a municipal energy utility that buys and distributes electricity from more renewable sources. The study states that the new utility would be able to provide average rates that match or are lower than Boulder’s current provider, Xcel Energy, and would drastically cut the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Bob Lachenmayer, with Schneider Electric, one of the city’s consultants, said the city has the opportunity to create a utility of the future that would have a much more advanced, interactive distribution system (a microgrid). He pointed to trends of large companies generating much of their own power and relying on the grid as backup. “The utility of the future is an energy services provider, not a commodity provider, and has a different relationship with its customers,” he said.
While WV remains mired in an obsolete and expensive electrical system, the people of Boulder are building a new future for themselves.