Wind Power Saves Michigan Ratepayers $15 Million Per Year
Michigan ratepayers will save $15 million per year if the state public service commission (PSC) allows utility DTE Electricity to pass cost savings from wind generation on to its customers.
DTE achieved the cost saving as it worked to comply with a state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires it to supply 10% of its power from renewable sources. If the regulatory filing is approved, it will give state legislators “a powerful new reason to expand the current RPS after it is reached and expires at the end of 2015,” CleanTechnica reports.
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The saving will come from eliminating a monthly renewable energy surcharge that DTE added to home power bills when the RPS took effect in 2009. “DTE originally collected the surcharge to cover expected costs from meeting the RPS, but falling wind costs have rendered it obsolete,” Marcacci writes. The surcharge had already been reduced from $3 in 2009 to 43¢ in 2014.
The PSC reported earlier this year that wind energy costs in Michigan had fallen by half since 2008. Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy priced wind at $25 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in some power purchase agreements. More recently, the U.S. Energy Information Administration “projected wind power would be cheaper (on average) than any other type of generation except the most efficient natural gas technology by 2020,” Marcacci states.
DTE said its 1 GW of wind capacity in Michigan had created about 1,400 jobs, primarily in construction.