A big premium for wind power

A big premium for wind power

To the Editor:

Under the current Massachusetts electric grid operators’ rules, the traditional power companies using gas, coal, oil have to bid on power the day before they get paid, for example six cents per kilowatt-hour. Under the current rules, the commercial wind turbine companies automatically get paid the day they produce the power, for example 18 cents per kWh, because they can only produce power when the wind blows. The grid operator has to take the renewable energy wind product first that day. The traditional power company is glad to stand down when the commercial wind turbine company is producing power.

What the public needs to understand is that in Massachusetts, when the commercial wind company is getting paid the 18 cents, the traditional company that bid the previous day stands down and gets paid anyway. Thus the cost to Massachusetts electric rate payers is the 18 cents plus the 6 cents the traditional company bid the previous day. The cost per kilowatt-hour could cost up to four times normal bid costs.

Massachusetts needs to review the electric bid process and how it affects resident and business customers. Massachusetts is one of the few states to use the current formula.

Frank Haggerty

Mattapoisett