Colorado Voters to Determine the Fate of $50 Million Smart Grid Project

Mark Chediak of Bloomberg writes about a referendum being held in Boulder, Colorado that will decide whether or not to publicly take over the Smart Grid project implemented by Xcel Energy.

Chediak writes:

"Supporters of the public take-over say Xcel, based in Minneapolis, isn't adding renewable energy fast enough and seek greater control over the local power grid."

David Parker, a utility analyst with Robert W. Baird says: "Boulder felt Xcel wasn't up-front about costs and about the potential benefits of the pilot," "The project began when "smart grid" technology was considered "the hottest thing in the world," in 2008, Parker said. Then, after the recession hit, customers started asking why they were spending money on upgrades with unproven benefits."

According to Xcel, "The expense of building a fiber-optic network, instead of using cheaper wireless technology, to monitor energy use helped drive the cost of the project above expectations."

A public takeover of the Smart Grid project would also be costly for the city, since they must issue bonds in order to buy the infrastructure.

Full Story: Boulder Finds 'Smart Grid' Slow, Pricey

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