The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 June 2004

Sweeping down the meter

Back around the first of the year, I mentioned that I'd signed up for OG&E's Wind Power program, which I cited as "an environmental gesture that will actually accomplish something without a great deal of lifestyle adjustment." Actually, the only thing that's changed around here, apart from slightly bigger checks to the utility when it's cold — I bought a flat 600-kW block, which is more than my monthly consumption during the winter — is the little Wind Power sticker in the front-window grid.

FPL Energy, which built the turbine farm that serves OG&E, plans to construct a new 106.5-megawatt farm near Woodward, and Public Service Company of Oklahoma will buy all those watts.

There's just one catch: Congress must act to renew the production tax credit for such facilities, which expired at the end of 2003, or the deal is off. So far, the Senate has voted to extend the credit to 2006, but the House has yet to act. The amount of the credit is 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first ten years of plant operation.

Yeah, I know: tax credits. What this means, of course, is that wind power is not yet fully competitive, pricewise, with fossil fuels. On the other hand, we'll never have to deal with an Organization of Wind-Exporting Countries.

Posted at 8:20 PM to Family Joules

TrackBack: 9:56 AM, 29 June 2004
» Blowing Hard from Dan and Angi Have Something to Say
Charles comments on OG&E's wind power program and Congress's failure (thus far) to implement tax breaks to keep it going. Yeah, I know: tax credits. What this means, of course, is that wind power is not yet fully competitive, pricewise,......[read more]

Besides the United Nations, I mean. Sheesh.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:27 PM on 28 June 2004

I'm with you on this one. Wind is a reasonable alternative that we have left underdeveloped for too long. Plus I just love looking at the turbines. Art and electricity. How cool is that?

Posted by: punctilious at 11:23 AM on 29 June 2004

I dunno, Charles, I can sure picture all them Oklahoma princes dressed like their Saudi counterparts, all getting together to stick it to such wind-challenged regions of the world as, well, subtropical west Georgia, where the wind only blows when the weather sucks.

Posted by: McGehee at 3:46 PM on 29 June 2004