Minnesota customers that are signed up for Xcel Energy’s Windsource voluntary renewable energy program found a pleasant surprise in their utility bills for July 2008. Windsource customers in the state actually paid less for wind energy than customers paid for fossil-fuel generated electricity. Windsource customers are exempted from paying a separate fuel cost (known as the energy cost adjustment) because wind energy does not use the fossil fuel paid for by the charge. When the fuel cost to conventional customers exceeds the Windsource premium, savings result for Windsource customers.
A similar situation occurred in Colorado in November 2005, when Xcel’s Colorado Windsource customers saved money relative to conventional energy costs. As a result of the savings, Xcel fully subscribed the Colorado Windsource program within weeks and established a waiting list for interested customers. In the Colorado situation, the effective price of wind power for Windsource customers remained below that of conventional power for six months, until April of 2006. The current savings for Minnesota customers, however, lasted only through July. For August, Windsource customers in Minnesota are again paying an effective premium, although that premium at 0.3¢/kWh is still one of the lowest in the U.S. About 10 other utility green pricing programs offer fixed-price green power products or otherwise exempt their green power customers from some or all fuel cost charges.
News Article - Xcel Wind Power Proved to Be a July Bargain