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03/02/2012 04:12 PM     print story email story  

Michigan Says Wind Energy is Cheaper Than Coal

SustainableBusiness.com News

The Michigan Public Service Commission recently released a report saying that wind energy, at an average cost of 9.1 cents/kilowatt-hour, is almost a third cheaper than that from a new coal plant at 13.3 cents/kWh ... and prices are coming down further, says the AWEA Blog.

The report is an annual requirement, reporting on the impact of Michigan's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to the state legislature. The RES requires utilities to source 10% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.

Utilities receive extra credits toward meeting the RES when they build renewable energy projects using in-state equipment and labor. 

A Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council study shows the state's advanced energy manufacturing sector - solar, wind,  energy storage, and biomass - generates $5 billion a year in economic activity and supports 20,500 jobs a year.

Xcel Gets Cheap Wind Too

In November, Xcel Energy also got a cheap deal on wind energy, its lowest price yet.

It's buying 200 MW of wind energy from NextEra's new Colorado plant, which comes online this year. Xcel will pay $27.50 per megawatt-hour, down from its average price of $42.16 for wind electricity, reports the Denver Post.

Xcel says it got the bargain price because NextEra is building another wind plant on the same site, which gives it economies of scale. 

California utilities also say renewable energy prices are dropping - new bids for electricity contracts are about a third lower than in 2009. The cost of electricity from renewable sources averaged 8-9 cents per kilowatt hour, according to the California Public Utilities Commission report.

Read the full article:

Website: www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/03/BUMP1N30MP.DTL



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