Xcel Energy is proposing to transform the company’s popular Windsource® program. The changes would cut the price of wind energy in half for participants of the voluntary program and quadruple its size. They also would create a new long-term option for large businesses, featuring a way to offset possible increases in the price of fossil fuel-generated energy.
Xcel Energy filed a proposal with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission that, if approved, would transform the company’s popular Windsource® program. The changes would cut the price of wind power in half for participants of the voluntary program and quadruple its size. They also would create a new long-term option for large businesses, featuring a way to offset possible increases in the price of fossil fuel-generated energy.
“The proposed changes are possible now for two reasons,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “First, we have added sufficient wind energy resources to our system to meet the 30 percent Colorado renewable energy standard. Second, we’ve contracted with NextEra Energy Resources for an additional 200 megawatts of wind power at a very low cost from its second new facility near Limon, Colorado.
“No other renewable energy program in the country offers features like those we’ve now proposed for Windsource,” Eves said. “We can take advantage of these prices to give our customers even more choice and obtain wind power for up to 100 percent of the electricity used in their homes and businesses.”
The improved Windsource Standard Program would enable home- and business owners to purchase flexible quantities of renewable energy at a new, low rate with no lengthy commitments or contract terms. If approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the premium for Windsource would drop 54 percent to $1 per 100 kilowatt-hour block from the current rate of $2.16 per block.
A typical household, using 632 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, could purchase 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources for less than $7 per month. The new Standard Program would include only a 30-day notice for a customer to discontinue participation rather than the current one-year commitment.
The new Windsource Long-Term Contract program—designed for large businesses—would be priced at 1.2 cents per kilowatt-hour with a minimum purchase of 120,000 kilowatt hours per year for at least five years. In addition to offsetting possible increases in the price of fossil fuel-generated energy, participating customers can also claim the renewable energy credits from the wind power they purchase.
Windsource has consistently been among the nation’s leading customer-driven, green energy pricing programs. Xcel Energy is the number one wind energy provider in the country, according to the American Wind Energy Association, and is also in the top 10 for solar energy capacity. These improvements to Windsource further demonstrate the company’s commitment to creating a clean energy future at a reasonable cost for its customers.
By José Santamarta, www.xcelenergy.com