Rural Electric Customers Pay Steep Price for Wind Power Mandate
“Paying for wind we don’t need, can’t use and can’t sell”
Taxpayers already pay a high price to subsidize wind energy through billions in federal grants, loan guarantees and tax credits that prop up the “windustry”. We now know the return on investment since 2009 is 10,000 lost wind industry jobs, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
But the losses only begin there. Now the bill for state renewable energy mandates is coming due with hundreds of thousands of Minnesota electric co-op and utility customers picking up the tab. Going green cost rural electric ratepayers in Minnesota, the fifth biggest wind power producer among the states, more than $70 million last year, according to the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA). The MREA represents about fifty mostly small, rural electric co-ops and utilities which serve more than 625,000 Minnesota homes and businesses.
“It’s an enormous subsidy. You have to add wind power, whether you need it or not,” said Mark Glaess, MREA executive director. “Right now we’re paying for wind we don’t need, we can’t use and can’t sell.”