We've talked quite a bit lately about how wind energy costs are falling, making this clean energy source an attractive bargain for utilities.
And we've also talked about the ambitious plans of Xcel Energy, a major investor-owned utility, to add more wind power to its generation mix.
Here's an item that underlines both points–a letter from Xcel to its ratepayers in Colorado to let them know how more wind power can save them money and also protect against fuel price spikes in the future.
Energy Savings are Blowing Your Way
Maybe you’ve heard the news? We recently announced plans to grow our use of wind power by 30 percent and pass the savings on to you. That’s right. Wind energy can save you money. No longer is it just good for the environment, wind can be the most economical energy choice too.
We’ve found wind prices today that are lower than other energy resources, like natural gas. And wind power purchased at firm prices will protect you from the uncertainty of rising fuel costs in the future. Plus, as we use more wind, we reduce power from traditional power plants, which can lower fuel costs.
Wind plays an important role in our balanced energy mix, helping to keep your energy costs low and reduce emissions. With our new wind supply, we’re on track to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.
— Xcel Energy electric bill in Colorado, October 21, 2013
And it's not just one utility. Here are some reports and comments about other recent utility wind purchases:
Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, issued a request for proposals earlier this year for 200 megawatts (MW) of wind (enough to serve the equivalent of about 50,000 homes). After reviewing the bids, it decided to triple its purchase to 600 MW because of "extraordinary pricing opportunities that will lower costs for PSO customers by an estimated $53 million in the first year of the contracts … annual savings are expected to grow each year over the life of the contracts … "