The American Wind Energy Association said its analysis shows electricity consumers saved $1 billion when utilities shifted to wind power as natural gas spot prices escalated during a cold snap in January 2014.
During the polar vortex, extreme cold weather conditions were felt farther south, with temperatures in some places plunging more than 30 degrees below normal. The colder weather prompted record winter demand for electricity and natural gas as customers turned up their heaters.
“In many regions of the country, wind power made a critical contribution to keeping the lights on and also keeping power prices low,” said Michael Goggin, research director for the association.
Goggin’s analysis looked at which power plants were used and fuel prices during the Jan. 6-7, 2014, polar vortex. In most circumstances, grid operators are required to run the lowest-cost generation first.
The analysis focused on a region that includes 60 million customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes areas. Wind power utilized during the 2014 polar vortex saved customers there about $1 billion, or 27 percent, from the estimated wholesale fuel sales in that period.
“The fuel cost is always free, and you can guarantee that for the life of the project,” Goggin said.
As utilities used wind instead of natural gas generation, it also freed up some natural gas supplies for home heating, Goggin said.
The association said its estimates were conservative because they didn’t look at how wind helped keep natural gas price spikes in check.
The Oklahoma Property Rights Association, which has opposed some wind farm projects in the state, said the wind association report on savings doesn’t take into account federal and state incentives used to build wind farms.
Subsidies lower prices
“The price of wind-generated electricity is subsidized by federal and state production tax subsidies that artificially lower the price of the electricity,” the property rights association’s Rick Mosier said in a statement. “Without the enormous wind power subsidies, Oklahomans would pay lower taxes and government would still have additional money to spend on education and other essential services.”
The wind association said incentives don’t affect electricity market prices, whose main fluctuations come from changes in fuel costs or transmission issues.
Displaces costly fuels
How Does Wind Power Work?
During the polar vortex, extreme cold weather conditions were felt further south, with temperatures in certain areas dropping more than 30 degrees below standard. The chillier weather prompted record winter demand for natural gas and electricity as customers’ heaters were turned up by they.
“In many areas of the country, wind power formed a vital contribution to keeping the lights on and additionally keeping electricity costs low,” said Michael Goggin, research director for the organization.
In many conditions, power system operators must run the lowest-price generation.
The evaluation focused on an area which includes 60 million customers in the Great Lakes and Mid Atlantic regions. Wind power used during the 2014 polar vortex saved customers there about 27 percent, or $1 billion, from the estimated wholesale fuel sales in that span.
“The fuel cost is always free, and you’ll be able to ensure that for the life of the job,” Goggin said.
Wind instead of natural gas generation also freed up some natural gas equipment for house heat as utilities used it, Goggin said.
The organization said its estimates were conservative because customers did not look at wind helped keep natural gas price spikes.
The Oklahoma Property Rights Association said the wind organization report on economies does not take into account state and national incentives used to construct wind farms.
Subsidies costs that are lower
“The cost of wind-produced electricity is subsidized by national and state creation tax subsidies that artificially lower the cost of the electricity,” the property rights organization’s Rick Mosier said in a statement. “Without the tremendous wind power subsidies, Oklahomans would pay lower taxes and government would still have added cash to spend on instruction and other essential services.”
The wind organization said electricity repair market prices, whose primary fluctuations come from changes in fuel costs or transmission problems aren’t affected by incentives.
Displaces fuels that are expensive
“Wind’s accurate market impact is competing with and displacing more expensive types of energy,” the organization said. “This marketplace-driven impact happens for all low fuel price sources of energy, including nuclear.”
“This increased reliance, compounded by generation outages during the extreme circumstances, increased the dangers to the dependable operation of the BPS (mass-power system).”
The report on the answer of the utility sector demonstrated the Southwest Power Pool among the least affected areas. The pool covers Oklahoma and portions of eight other states.
This week’s dropping temperatures and high winds led to record numbers of wind power generation in a number of areas of the nation, the wind organization said. Need an Electrician Poway? Call Today we have service representatives standing by. We have Licensed Electrical Contractors that can help you today. Get a Free electrical estimate for Lemon GRove today. We have electrical specialists that are dedicated to providing you with the best service possible. If you are looking for a quality electrical company then you need look no further.
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