Can We Have It All in Boulder’s Energy Future?

Can We Have It All in Boulder’s Energy Future?
posted Jun 20, 2011 1:22 PM by Tom Asprey [ updated Jul 9, 2011 3:11 PM ]
Welcome to Your Citizen Power Model Page!

We are working on getting information on the June 29th presentation of our technical and financial team findings out to the public. Please drop by to see the latest updates of the model as we get these posted. We consider these models to be the community’s models. They are currently our team’s best estimates on the technical and financial aspects of what a muni and our rates and bills would be. Like all models, they are not “right” in the sense that they can tell you exactly what the future will be. As we get new data and inputs from the community, we will be updating them.

No one, not even Xcel or the City of Boulder, can predict the future with certainty. As citizens, we are also human and do not believe we are perfect. That is why we like skeptics and critical analysis by others for continuous improvement. We just ask you to have an open mind and play a part in improving our models. If you find an issue in our models, assumptions or conclusions, please commit to working with us to resolve your issue(s). We are looking for the best information we can to inform Boulder voters and if you are critical of our results, but still share our goal of finding the best approach for Boulder, then let us understand and help you resolve the basis of your concern.

We believe all models are only as good as their assumptions and techniques so they must be as open as possible and their assumptions to be compared. All should be available for review, including Xcel Energy and the City of Boulder (within the limitations of negotiation).

If you have comments, requests or questions specific to this page or the models and especially if you have feedback on the models, please send them to [email protected] (please also send your comments there if you would like to see a discussion group for the public to interact with our modeling groups)

For more general questions on the website, etc, please use [email protected]

All Reports Should be Considered Draft and Subject to Updates

Reports available:

Can We Have it All Slides
Can We Have it All Videos
Monthly Bill Estimator
Emissions with Different Power Mixes
Financial Model
Presenter Bio’s
HOMER Model Downloads
Detailed Technical Team Report on Muni Scenarios

Presentation Slides
CBEF Presents
Technical and Financial Analysis of Boulder’s Municipalization
A Joint Presentation by Leaders of Two Sponsored Citizen Volunteer Teams

Part I – Technical Team Model Results – Sam Weaver
Part II – Financial Team Model Results – Frank Selto

Model Result Presentation Summary Slides
(download)
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Presentation Video
More video coming as we get this edited and up on YouTube.

Sam Weaver – Part I, in segments
Part I-1. Sam Weaver
Part I-2. Sam Weaver
Part I-3. Sam Weaver
Part I-4. Sam Weaver
Part I-5. Sam Weaver

Frank Selto – Part II, in segments
Part II-1. Frank Selto
Part II-2. Frank Selto
Part II-3. Frank Selto
Part II-4. Frank Selto

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Monthly Bill Estimator
The monthly bill estimator can be used to use our model data within a range of assumptions to calculate the electricity only portion of your electrical bill. The data shown below is for the default bills but if you go to the spreadsheet below and the “Full detail of Rates by Class” sheet, you can enter your monthly KWH usage to get our estimate vs Xcel. The startup cost estimates shown below include everything, including the cost of the distribution system, the stranded assets assessment by FERC, legal costs, etc. This is why a variety of these costs are demonstrated. Think of these as points as possibilities and make your own decision about which you believe. Many of our team believe that the $300M is most likely. While only two power mixes are shown, we have studied many more. The bottom scenario, 39% actual renewables serving our load, is a good tradeoff between cost and renewables, but the choice is really Boulder’s to make based on cost versus our emission goals. That will have to be worked out in the full implementation plan. If you would like to see a different mix, you may be able to estimate the cost from these points. If not, let us know and we can work on different percentages if enough folks request it.
Montly Bill Calculator and Comparator ‎‎‎‎(electricity portion only)‎‎‎‎
(download)
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Emissions with Different Power Mixes
To get an understanding of how the level of renewables and coal in the power mix relate to emissions, average national data from the EPA for kg/MWH for CO2, SOx and NOx emissions. Other pollutants such as CO, particulates and mercury were compared based on their kg/BBTU emissions for different power mixes. A mix of 60% coal and 40% natural gas were used as a baseline and each of the other combination of renewables, coal and natural gas to add up to 100% are shown as a percentage emission cut from the baseline.
Emissions: Coal, Renewables & Gas Mixes
(download)
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Financial Model
The financial model is still being developed to include detail and sensitivity analysis tools. It will continue to be a work in progress as Frank improves it. The version presented here is a conversion from the Excel version to a google docs spreadsheet and so there may be issues with the conversion. This was done so that it could be displayed here. If you see a problem, send feedback.
Remember that this model is meant to test various scenarios under different assumptions. The selection of a specific assumption should not be taken to imply that we endorse, guarantee or even recommend that specific setting. The numbers shown are one possibility only.
Boulder Muni Elec Model v3 no coal-mortgage
(download)
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Presenter Bio’s
Below is the announcement of the original presentation with bio’s for the presenters.

Renewables Yes/Citizens for Boulder’s Clean Energy Future

is pleased to present:

Can We Have It All in Boulder’s Energy Future?

Featuring:

Sam Weaver and Frank Selto,

Technical and Financial Modeling Group Leads

The Presentation:

Sam Weaver and Frank Selto will present the power systems modeling effort undertaken by a remarkable group of Boulder volunteers over the last 6 months. This group of citizens has established an energy modeling approach which incorporates the great information provided so far by City consultants, and uses those results to study power generation options with greatly reduced emissions, stable costs, and excellent reliability. The Renewables Yes/Citizens for Boulder’s Clean Energy Future (CBCEF) Technical Modeling Group consists of over 30 individuals with engineering, business, and financial backgrounds, including subject matter experts in hydro, wind, solar, and conventional power generation. The modeling team used assumptions agreed upon by the larger group of advisors in a modeling tool developed by NREL, and has now converged on concrete peer-reviewed predictions for costs and resource mixes of low-carbon energy systems for Boulder. Come see what these Boulder engineers and financiers have put together for a roadmap to a clean energy future!

The modeling process and findings will be reviewed, including: the wonderful fit between natural gas and renewables, how to cut emissions by 50% quickly with no rate increases, and a roadmap to even more renewables on a reliable grid.

Speakers’ Bios:

Sam Weaver is one of the leads of the citizen’s technical modeling group for Renewables Yes/Citizens for Boulder’s Clean Energy Future (CBCEF). Sam is a co-founder of Cool Energy, Inc., a power conversion equipment company located in Boulder, CO. Outside of work, he serves on the Boards for the Colorado Clean Energy Development Authority and the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association. Sam holds a B.S. degree in engineering and applied science from the California Institute of Technology and is an inventor named on fourteen issued U.S. patents.

Professor Frank Selto is one of the leads of the financial modeling group for the Renewables Yes/CBCEF. Frank is Professor of Accounting at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder. He also was a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne for six years. He teaches and conducts research in the area of cost management and control. Professor Selto holds MBA and PhD degrees in accounting from the University of Washington, and BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering, from Gonzaga University and the University of Utah, respectively.

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HOMER Model Downloads
HOMER models downloads are available here. To run our HOMER model you must purchase a HOMER executable from http://www.HOMERenergy.com. While you can use the free executable from HOMER Energy to create and run your own model, the model available here was created with the paid version and cannot be run with the freeware. The model team has many models for various purposes. The model you can download here was optimized for a range of CO2 emission points and then the model was run to calculate the range of data for plotting for cost and price sensitivity. Versions of this model with many other settings were used to determine the cost numbers in the report below. download model here
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Detailed Technical Team Report on Muni Scenarios
If you are interested in the detailed technical consideration, assumptions and results, these were summarized in our teams technical report below.
Detailed Technical Team Report on Muni
(download)