An increasing number of Puget Sound Energy (PSE; Bellevue, Washington) customers are willing to pay a little extra to buy solar and wind power. Nearly 5000 customers have signed up for PSE's one-year-old Green Power Plan. Their commitment to green power has helped the utility achieve the first-year target for its program.
The growing demand for green power among businesses and households adds 1.8 million kWh of new renewable energy every month to the Northwest grid. Their participation also is helping foster the development of additional renewable-energy resources.
“Right now, PSE customers are supporting renewable energy at a rate that would serve the annual electricity needs of nearly 2100 households for a year,” said Angus Duncan, president of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). “That level of participation leads to more production, which eventually leads to lower costs for green power.”
PSE's green power portfolio is administered by the BEF, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing new sources of renewable energy. BEF obtains energy for PSE from the State Line Wind Farm near Walla Walla, Washington, and the Hanford/White Bluffs Solar Project in Hanford, Washington.
Of the PSE customers participating in the green power program, 87 are businesses. The participating businesses are paying on average an extra $23.26 a month for 1150 kWh of green power.
Green power is available to business and residential customers on a voluntary basis starting at $4 for 200 kWh per month. On average, the program's residential customers are paying an additional $6.14 on their monthly electric bill to purchase the more expensive green power.
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