The American Wind Energy Association made a bold move late last week, dropping the electric utility Exelon over its opposition to extending key federal incentives for wind energy. Within The Hill reporter Zack Colman’s article is this odd complaint:
[Exelon Senior Vice President David] Brown said the PTC is helping wind cut into its nuclear power business. Though the utility has 900 megawatts of installed wind electricity generation capacity, he said wind is “distorting competitive markets that we operate in” by lowering the wholesale price of electricity.
Wait, what? Wind energy is lowering electricity costs … and that’s a PROBLEM to big electric utilities like Exelon?
Federal incentives for wind energy are a drop in the bucket compared to the billions in long-term taxpayer support on which the nuclear power industry has depended. When President Obama and members of Congress talk about expanding nuclear power, they’re really talking about shoveling more tax dollars at nuclear and raising your electricity rates.
I understand the reasons why the nuclear industry is afraid of extending wind energy incentives, but they’re the exact same reasons Virginians should be asking their members of Congress to extend them.