in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

U.S. electric utilities are locking in fixed-price contracts for wind power, now more cost-competitive than ever, illustrating the success of the federal production tax credit (PTC) policy in holding down rates for consumers, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

AWEA notes that 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 last year. In fact, since the extension of the PTC in January, utilities have continued to show interest in buying a wind project's output or owning the wind farm outright.

"From Xcel Energy in Minnesota to OG&E in Arkansas, electric consumers are racking up the savings as a result," says Rob Gramlich, AWEA's interim CEO. "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."

As evidence, AWEA cites the following utilities, which are making major wind power purchases and reporting consumer savings:

  • Xcel Energy, the No. 1 wind energy provider in the U.S., is considering adding more wind generation in Minnesota and Colorado because of the PTC extension;
  • MidAmerican Energy, the No. 1 company in the U.S. in terms of utility ownership of wind capacity, announced Dec. 31, 2012, that it had completed three more wind projects totaling 407 MW in Iowa. MidAmerican is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company controlled by investor Warren Buffett;
  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which, citing the recently extended PTC and ongoing renewable portfolio standard requirements, is moving forward with a request for proposals for up to 100 MW of renewable energy;
  • DTE Energy's ECHO Wind project, slated for 2013, will have a combined levelized cost of approximately $52.50/MWh, down substantially from power purchase prices several years earlier, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission. DTE says its investment in the wind farm - and two others - will contribute $150 million in economic benefits to Michigan; and
  • Consumers Electric Power, which estimates that Macon County and the state of Michigan received an economic boost of nearly $10 million from the development of Lake Winds Energy Park, the company's first wind farm, AWEA notes.



Hybrid Energy Innovations

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Latest Top Stories

Two Years After Superstorm Sandy, Utilities Highlight Grid Efforts

As the U.S. reflects on the monster hurricane that struck in October 2012, utilities note what they have done to help protect against future severe weather.


USDA Invests $1.4 Billion To Boost Rural Grids Around The Country

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced more loan guarantees for rural power companies and renewable energy firms in 21 states.


SPP Raises Concerns About EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan

Stakeholders around the U.S. are mulling over the Environmental Protection Agency's blueprint to cut emissions from existing power plants. The Southwest Power Pool has released its assessment of the plan.


Comverge, Constellation To Merge Demand Response Businesses

The two companies have announced a deal to combine their DR operations serving commercial and industrial customers and establish a new, standalone entity.


Grid-Scale Energy Storage Continues Making Inroads

A new report from Navigant Research highlights the biggest markets and most popular technologies for grid-scale energy storage.

S&C Electric_id176
edf_id180