But Xcel Enery (which uses wind for 17% of its electricity, more than four times the national average, according to the Denver Post) is reconsidering its support for the wind industry for not benefiting customers.
The battle to get Congress to renew the wind-energy production tax credit before year’s end strained relationships among utilities, splintered support within the industry’s biggest trade group and is setting up the industry—and its supporters in Congress—for a 2013 even more contentious than 2012….
Xcel Energy, which is among the top 10 biggest utilities in the country and had the largest wind capacity of any utility in 2011, is reviewing its membership in AWEA largely because of how the trade group handled the PTC debate…. “It’s our concern that they continue to represent the interests of developers to the exclusion of customers.” [Xcel lobbyist John O’Donnell] is referring to both individual households and businesses whose electricity bills from utilities are affected by the production tax credit either directly or indirectly. O’Donnell doesn’t think extending the PTC, which is a tax credit that goes to wind-energy developers, benefits customers paying electricity bills or the utilities buying wind from renewable-energy generators. He went so far to say that because Congress extended the PTC without any additional policies to benefit customers, the Minnesota-based Xcel may not buy more wind….