12 February 2006
Running out of wind
Which of course we're not: blasts from the northwest are, even as I type, ripping through the countryside at a consistent 25 to 35 mph.
OG&E, however, is. From their current bill insert:
Due to the overwhelming response to the energy savings OG&E's Wind Power program provides, OG&E customers have purchased all the wind-generated electricity we have to offer. However, we're putting customer names on a waiting list to receive wind power when it becomes available.
Lower wind prices, coupled with high natural gas prices, have created significant savings to wind power subscribers as much as 10 percent on monthly bills. Many customers signed up for 100 percent wind-generated electricity, creating demand beyond OG&E's available supply. In fact, the amount of wind energy purchased by OG&E's customers has more than doubled since the first of the year.
Emphasis added. And this is instructive: apparently as late as December, OG&E had sold less than 50 percent of their 50-megawatt capacity, but $12/dekatherm natural gas and a downward adjustment of the wind-power fee (from $2 to $0.10/kw) pushed demand to the max.
And if I needed any more persuasion, I could look at the bill I got Friday, which contains the following item: FINAL WIND OPTION COST -$8.62. That's more than I lost for the month on my gas bill.
The utility is already taking steps to increase its supply, though the new capacity won't be online until the end of 2006 at the earliest.Posted at 12:12 PM to Family Joules