On January 23, 2018, The Breckenridge Town Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Town and Xcel Energy to formalize a long-standing partnership between the two organizations. The MOU, titled “Energy Future Collaboration” is a non-binding agreement focused on moving forward towards the Town’s renewable energy goals.
The Town of Breckenridge’s vision for a sustainable future began in 2002 with the Vision Plan that emphasized the importance of protecting local, natural resources. This Vision Plan then led into the Town’s SustainableBreck program that seeks to promote environmental efforts across the community. In 2017, Town Council adopted two resolutions that highlight its commitment to taking action against climate change by investing in renewable energy. The two resolutions set goals of reaching one hundred percent renewable energy in Town facilities by 2025 and community-wide by 2035. It was determined that a partnership with Xcel Energy was critical in achieving this goal and both organizations have a vested interest in working together.
Xcel Energy is committed to providing resources towards the Town’s efforts and seeks to increase its portfolio of renewable energy. Xcel’s goal of having 55% of all their Colorado electric energy coming from renewable sources by 2026 is a major resource for the Town.
“This partnership is crucial for our future in renewable energy. We believe that working together can create much more substantial action and that this agreement is really adding teeth to our goals and shows that we are committed to achieving them,” commented Mark Truckey, Assistant Director of Community Development.
The MOU outlines the overarching values, goals, and shared principles between the Town of Breckenridge and Xcel Energy and provides a strategy for achieving this shared vision through collaboration that focuses on innovation, clean energy, economic development, and technology.
The values of this partnership are reliable and affordable energy that customers need and expect, emissions reductions that benefit the residents through improved public health, economic development through innovation in clean resources that boost local and state economy, promoting a thriving town and energy provider, seeking regional collaboration, and valuing community and stakeholder input in determining the direction of the partnership.
“We hope this robust public and private partnership serves as a model for how municipalities and energy companies can join together to achieve mutual goals and support clean energy initiatives,” comments Haley Littleton, spokesperson for the Town. “By utilizing the knowledge and resources of Xcel Energy, we are confident that we can reach out goals for the benefit of our community.”
“We are pleased to partner with Breckenridge in this new ‘Energy Future Collaboration’ to help them achieve their energy goals,” said David Eves, president, Xcel Energy - Colorado. “This collaborative framework was jointly created to advance Breckenridge’s objectives, which can be adopted by other communities across Colorado to work with Xcel Energy in achieving their local energy priorities – ranging from sustainability objectives to economic development and energy innovation goals.”
The partnership will focus on realistic scalability, an avoidance of cost shifting, supporting public policy in alignment with the Town’s renewable energy goals, and leveraging the Town’s efforts and Xcel’s statewide efforts to help Breckenridge reach their 100% goals. The short-term focus areas will center around energy efficiency updates. Xcel will assist the Town in efforts to prioritize energy efficiency upgrades across their facilities and will seek to provide various rebates, discounted lighting and energy audits, and other assistance. The Town will also seek to leverage Xcel’s statewide renewable energy plans, such as the Colorado Energy Plan, to provide a foundation for its goals and will explore programs such as RenewableConnect and SolarRewards Community.
Long-term, Xcel will assist the town in identifying a realistic path to 100% renewable energy community-wide through analyses of the Town’s electric demand and provide actions to fulfill electricity needs through solar gardens in adjacent counties, exploring reductions through electric vehicles and heating sources, and developing grid storage technology. The Town and Xcel Energy would also seek to explore opportunities to work together in wildfire mitigation efforts and protecting infrastructure from potential damage.