The city of Boulder, Colo., has taken another step toward creating a municipal electric utility by formally notifying Xcel Energy Inc. that it plans to acquire parts of the utility’s electric system.

The letter of intent sent Monday by City Manager Jane Brautigam to the head of Xcel Energy’s Colorado operations is legally required before the city can file for condemnation. It outlines the assets that Boulder wants to acquire, agrees to pay Xcel to appraise the assets and asks the company to appoint someone to negotiate a deal.

Xcel said it hadn’t decided how to respond. “We continue to believe that we can help Boulder achieve its goals better, faster and cheaper by working together instead of Boulder attempting to take over our business,” the company said in a statement.

In addition to the distribution system, Boulder intends to acquire four substations, streetlights, smart meters, a transmission line and permission to share three other substations. The city isn’t seeking Xcel’s generation facilities.

Boulder Daily Camera