Colorado

Aug 31, 2010 9:23 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Boulder's smart grid triples in cost; Pueblo to pay

Xcel Energy's SmartGridCity is supposed to be an experiment in what a modern energy grid might look like.

Since the utility announced the project in Boulder in 2008, its costs have nearly tripled from initial estimates to around $45 million.

This week the Colorado Public Utilities Commission is holding hearings on the project and how much of its costs Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy can recover from customers statewide, not just in Boulder. Xcel is the natural gas provider in Pueblo, so Pueblo residents will help pay for Boulder's smart grid.

The Office of Consumer Counsel, representing customers' interests, says customers shouldn't have to bear all the overruns.

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