"[Wind energy] projects will reduce customer costs by providing a valuable hedge to rising and volatile fuel prices well into the future."- Ben Fowke, Chairman, President and CEO, Xcel Energy. Why do utilities like wind energy? If you ask Xcel Energy, it's the value to consumers. Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electric and natural gas company that operates in 8 states and serves 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers. Read more here.
According to a 2010 study conducted by an independent acoustic consulting firm in Australia, the levels of infrasound created by wind turbines are not only well below the internationally recognized Audibility Threshold (the level where infrasound is perceived), but they are no greater than those produced by waves at the beach. Continue reading
In April of this year, the Union of Concerned Scientists put out a report describing how renewable energy is being reliably integrated into America's electric grid. According to this report, "Renewable energy is providing reliable electricity today in the United States and around the world. From 2007 to 2012, electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar nearly quadrupled nationally. This growth is part of a transition away from dirty, coal-burning power plants—which harm public health and destabilize our climate—toward cleaner, more sustainable sources of electricity. Using existing technologies and smart policy decisions, the United States can continue this clean energy transformation while maintaining a reliable and affordable electricity system." Read the full report here.
A recent letter in the Piedmont Surrey-Gazette states that “… all of these wind turbine outfits are currently being subsidized by the federal government, and some are receiving multiple tax credits and subsidies.” In fact, since 1950, 70% of all energy subsidies have gone to fossil fuels. As recently as 2002-2007, they received nearly five times as much in tax incentives as renewables. Continue reading
The Production Tax Credit is an incentive that rewards a wind energy generation facility for the energy it produces during the first 10 years of its operation. It does this by giving the facility’s owner(s) a break on their taxes for each unit of energy produced (and nothing else) during that period. Once a wind farm qualifies for the PTC, it is guaranteed to receive that tax credit for the first 10 years of its operation. Continue reading
Since a wind turbine's "fuel" (wind) is free and will never change in price, wind energy helps protect consumers from the price spikes that often affect conventional fuels. According to the testimony of the Public Service Company of Colorado, utilities like wind because it “acts as a hedge against future volatility of natural gas prices.” It also offers utilities an opportunity to lock in a price for up to 25 years via a long-term contract, usually referred to as a “Power Purchase Agreement”. Just as a fixed-rate home mortgage locks in home payments, this kind of contract prevents power generation costs from increasing unpredictably over time. Continue reading
Wind farms help maintain and increase property values by boosting local economic development. They provide significant funding to schools, county governments, and other local services, which improve property values by making communities more attractive for growth and commerce. Continue reading
Did you know that wind farms can actually boost local property values? Wind turbines and facilities have been shown to increase the assessed value of agricultural property. Continue reading
A very "moo"ving image. When cattle and horses share their homes with wind energy facilities both the farmers and their livestock benefit.