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United States

Green pricing challenge thrown to Texans

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The rush to install wind power before the June 30 expiration of the US Production Tax Credit looks as if will give a new boost to green power marketing in Texas. Four Vestas 1.65 MW turbines are being added to the first 34 MW phase of the Big Spring wind plant-specifically to provide electricity for the a green pricing program run by the utility TU Electric.

According to TU Electric's Rand La Vonn, the TU Renew program, launched on April 7, allows homes in six Texas towns to buy renewable energy from TU Electric/Lone Star Gas. One of those is the town of Waco. Town mayor Mike Morrison has issued a tough challenge to residents-to sign up in large numbers so that Waco becomes the first town in the US with 25% of its electricity from green power.

Others places where ratepayers can sign up for green power are Woodway, Robinson, Lacy, Lakeview, Beverly Hills and Bellmead. The program is an easy way to improve the environment, says TU. "Recent research has shown that a majority of Texans want the option to buy renewable energy," enthuses Terry Preuninger, Waco District Manager of TU Electric/Lone Star Gas. He says the program, applauded by consumers and environmental groups, may draw 10% of homes. The diversity of the community of the Waco area is the reason it was selected by TU Electric/Lone Star Gas as the site of the pilot.

TU Electric/Lone Star Gas is the principal subsidiary of Texas Utilities Company (NYSE: TXU), one of the largest investor-owned energy service companies with revenues of $14.7 billion and assets of nearly $40 billion. With headquarters in Dallas, Texas Utilities is described as a multinational leader in energy-related services. It delivers energy to more than nine million customers, primarily in Texas, the UK, continental Europe and Australia.

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