Friday, January 4, 2013

Battle Over Wind Subsidy Leaves Industry Bruised

The latest victory of the American Wind Energy Association, securing enormous debt-driven subsidies for another year, may be somewhat hollow in the end.
Another large American utility looks set to follow Exelon in blowing away from AWEA.

Battle Over Wind Subsidy Leaves Industry Bruised
Xcel Energy, which is among the top 10 biggest utilities in the country and had the largest wind capacity of any utility in 2011, is reviewing its membership in American Wind Energy Association largely because of how the trade group handled the tax credit debate. A final decision from the company is expected soon about what, if anything, it plans to do.
"We are in the process of reviewing our relationship with AWEA,” Xcel lobbyist John O’Donnell told NJ. “It's our concern that they continue to represent the interests of developers to the exclusion of customers."
O’Donnell is referring to both individual households and businesses whose electricity bills from utilities are affected by the production tax credit either directly or indirectly. O’Donnell doesn’t think extending the PTC, which is a tax credit that goes to wind-energy developers, benefits customers paying electricity bills or the utilities buying wind from renewable-energy generators. He went so far to say that because Congress extended the PTC without any additional policies to benefit customers, the Minnesota-based Xcel may not buy more wind.
"As the largest provider of wind to customers by far, we feel this action doesn’t do nearly enough for customers, and throws into immediate question any further plans we have to buy more wind on their behalf,” O’Donnell said.
Read the entire article at the National Journal site:

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