Wind farm operators race the clock to get their projects operating by the end of 2012, when the federal wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) is scheduled to expire. The credit pays wind farm operators $22 per megawatt hour of energy generated.
Therefore, before the year ends, we expect to see the amount of electricity Colorado can generate from the wind increased by 26 percent. According to figures from the American Wind Energy Association, this will boost the state’s total capacity for wind power from 1,805 megawatts to 2,272 megawatts — enough wind power to support 568,000 homes.
Xcel Energy, who remains the largest provider of electricity and natural gas in Colorado, will soon be running two new wind farms, Limon I and Limon II. “These projects [Limon I and II] will bring the amount of wind on our Colorado system to [nearly] 2,200 megawatts,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Xcel’s Colorado subsidiary. These wind farms offer some of the lowest-priced and significant wind energy we’ve seen for three main reasons:
1. They demonstrate that renewable energy can compete on an economic basis;
2. They meet the state’s Renewable Energy Standard; and,
3. They provide energy at a reasonable cost.
It’s great to see these advancements toward energy independence.