The American Wind Energy Association has filed a protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding a proposal by Puget Sound Energy. The organization released the following statement from AWEA Director of Federal Regulatory Affairs Tom Vinson:

“We are asking FERC to overturn a proposal by Puget Sound Energy that would impose unfair and excessive grid integration charges on wind plants while failing to charge competing fossil and nuclear-powered power plants for the far larger integration costs they impose on the power system.

“Wind power works for electric consumers, providing a clean source of energy with which to power homes and businesses, create jobs and strengthen our energy security. Puget Sound Energy is singling out wind energy for this excessive integration charge, while American consumers spend billions of dollars per year to pay for the massive amount of reserve generation that must be available 24/7 to keep the power grid reliable in case a large coal or nuclear plant suddenly experiences an outage. To add insult to injury, wind plants are currently forced to pay for these reserves as well, even though these reserves are only needed for large power plants.

“Moreover, flaws in Puget’s calculations grossly inflate wind integration costs and proposed collection charges. The cost of integrating wind would be greatly reduced if Puget made simple, cost-effective reforms that have been implemented in other regions, such as moving to faster generator dispatch intervals and better coordinating its operations with its neighbors – steps that improve the efficiency of the grid and save consumers money even in the absence of wind energy. AWEA and the wind industry will fight against all attempts by utilities and competing energy suppliers to impose excessive and unfair charges on wind power, and will seek a level playing field for all energy sources, including an abundant, affordable, clean and readily available energy source like wind.”