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Three new green pricing programs launched by utilities

Three new green pricing programs have been launched by US utilities. In Texas, San Antonio Public Service is now offering customers wind power. The municipal utility, which serves more than 550,000 customers, is offering 100 kWh blocks of wind for an additional $4.00 monthly, or a premium of $0.04/kWh. The Windtricity program will eventually be supplied from a 25 MW wind project planned in west Texas. Meanwhile, the utility is buying 600,000 kWh of wind power each month from an existing project. In Washington state, Tacoma Power has launched the Evergreen program, which will offer wind and low impact hydro. The utility serves more than 140,000 customers. The 1 MW of green power will be provided by the federal utility, Bonneville Power Administration. Homes can choose to pay an extra $3, $6, or $10 monthly. Businesses can pay an extra $6 to $100 each month. Part of the extra revenue collected will go to the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which supports new renewable projects as well as the improvement of wildlife habitats in Washington and Oregon. And in South Dakota, the East River Electric Power Co-operative, which serves 22 distribution systems in South Dakota and western Minnesota, is offering its customers wind power. Businesses and homes can buy 100 kilowatt hour blocks for a premium of $3.50 monthly. If 2000 customers sign up, the co-operative intends to construct a 1 MW wind farm next spring. That is when the customers will start to be charged the premium.

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