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Standards ensure clean green pricing -- Accreditation for utilities too

For the first time utility green pricing programs in the US are being certified. Three power companies have already met standards set by the Centre for Resource Solutions (CRS) of San Francisco for environmental and consumer protection. Another five utilities -- two in Minnesota and one each in Colorado, Georgia and Florida -- have inquired about the possibility.

The three programs with CRS approval are Wisconsin Electric's Energy for Tomorrow, Madison Gas & Electric's MGE Wind Power, which also serves consumers in Wisconsin, and the newer Green Power Switch program of the Tennessee Valley Authority (Windpower Monthly, April 2000). The three utilities are also being recognised for their work in designing the programs with consumers and environmental groups.

TVA expects to generate up to 8 MW of renewables this year from wind turbines -- to be installed by the fall in Tennessee -- and from solar and landfill gas. Wisconsin Electric's program is one of the largest in the country with some 11,400 customers supplied with power from two Vestas wind turbines in Fond du Lac County as well as from landfill gas and hydro. Madison Gas & Electric's 5000 customers get their 11.2 MW in clean energy from a Vestas wind farm in Kewaunee County.

"Consumers want to help drive the development of renewable resources in the Midwest and we believe accreditation is a good way to ensure customers get the renewables they are promised," says Michael Vickerman of Renew Wisconsin, one of the groups that helped get the standards off the ground.

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