A Texas Utility Offers a Nighttime Special: Free Electricity

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    Nov 08, 2015 11:58 PM GMT
    DALLAS — In Texas, wind farms are generating so much energy that some utilities are giving power away.

    Wind blows most strongly at night and is inexpensive because of its abundance and federal tax breaks. A shift of power use away from the peak daytime periods means lower wholesale prices, and the possibility of avoiding the costly option of building more power plants.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/09/business/energy-environment/a-texas-utility-offers-a-nighttime-special-free-electricity.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    Well done to Texas (for once). We have an off-peak cheap electricity tariff (Economy 7) here in the UK, which I'm on and which works well for me, but free off-peak electricity would be amazing. We have reached 15% wind power in the UK on a good day (it's 10% in Texas), so maybe a similar scheme could happen here. That said, it would probably be better to charge something per kwh during off-peak hours, in order to discourage wastefulness.
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    Nov 09, 2015 12:13 AM GMT
    They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. They only get the tax credits if the windmills are turning. So although the rate payers aren't paying directly, they are paying through taxes.

    We have something similar here - or the opposite? When we have peak hydropower, there is no need for the wind farms. Rather than idle the wind machines, the investors sued. So we (hydropower customers) actually pay California to take our hydropower at negative rates, so that the windmills can continue to generate tax credits.
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    Nov 09, 2015 3:13 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidThey're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. They only get the tax credits if the windmills are turning. So although the rate payers aren't paying directly, they are paying through taxes.

    We have something similar here - or the opposite? When we have peak hydropower, there is no need for the wind farms. Rather than idle the wind machines, the investors sued. So we (hydropower customers) actually pay California to take our hydropower at negative rates, so that the windmills can continue to generate tax credits.


    This is why I'm all for a flat tax.