Wind energy driving down electric rates, posts big construction numbers

Posted on October 31, 2011. Filed under: Economic development, Utility rates, Wind | Tags: , , |


From an article in Wind Energy Weekly:

Wind energy is more affordable than ever, and new installations across the country are saving consumers money on their electric bills, as utilities rush to lock in long-term favorable rates, AWEA said in its third-quarter market report this week.

“This is what a successful business looks like with stable tax policy. Utilities are locking in a great deal for their electric customers while it’s available. We’re keeping rates down all across the U.S., even in the heart of the South,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode, pointing to recent wind power purchases by the Southern Company in Alabama, Austin Energy in Texas, and Xcel Energy in Colorado as examples.

The U.S. wind industry installed just over 1,200 MW in the third quarter, and about 3,360 MW on the year so far—but has more than 8,400 MW under construction. That is more than in any quarter since 2008, as the federal Production Tax Credit has driven as much as $20 billion a year in private investment.

“This shows what we’re capable of: adding new, affordable electric generation,” said Bode. “Traditional tax incentives are working. There’s a lot of business right now, people are employed, and manufacturers are looking to expand here in the U.S.”

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