This article, from the American Wind Energy Assn., is authored by Ellen Carey.
U.S. electric utilities are locking in fixed-price contracts for wind power, now more cost-competitive than ever, illustrating the success of a key federal tax policy in holding down rates for consumers.
A total of 66 U.S. utilities bought or owned wind power by the start of this year – nearly half for large amounts over 100 MW – up from 42 a year before. Utilities have continued to sign up for more since Congress and President Obama extended the Production Tax Credit for wind energy in the “fiscal cliff” bill signed at the beginning of January.
“AWEA applauds these utilities for maximizing the PTC opportunity to continue bringing low-cost, fixed price wind power to their customers,” said Rob Gramlich, Interim CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
“From Xcel Energy in Minnesota to OG&E in Arkansas, electric consumers are racking up the savings as a result. The wind energy industry looks forward to our continued partnerships with utilities across the country to lock in the economic development, rate stabilizing and environmental benefits of more wind power.”
Among the utilities making major wind power purchases and reporting consumer savings are Xcel Energy, the number one wind energy provider in the nation, is considering adding more wind generation in Minnesota and Colorado because of the PTC extension. Earlier this month, Judy Poferl, president and CEO, of Xcel Energy’s Northern States Power Company-Minnesota said, “Although Xcel Energy is well ahead of meeting our state’s renewable energy requirements, we are open to adding cost-effective wind projects that could provide long-term value to our customers. The extension of the federal renewable electricity Production Tax Credit may make cost-effective projects available to serve our customers.”
Read the full article here http://awea.org/newsroom/pressreleases/utilitiesflocktowind.cfm