Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Texas Wind Farms Generate So Much Power Utilities Are Giving Electricity Away for Free

Business
Texas Wind Farms Generate So Much Power Utilities Are Giving Electricity Away for Free

Did you know that Texas, a state known for its lucrative oil and gas industry, is actually the largest wind power producer in the country? It now appears that wind farms are cranking out so much excess energy, that utilities are giving this renewable energy source to customers for free.

Wind makes up 10 percent of the electricity used in Texas.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The New York Times reports that thousands of customers in the state are paying zero for their electricity needs between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., saving $40 or $50 a month during the peak summer season.

The Times writes:

"TXU’s free overnight plan, which is coupled with slightly higher daytime rates, is one of dozens that have been offered by more than 50 retail electricity companies in Texas over the last three years with a simple goal: for customers to turn down the dials when wholesale prices are highest and turn them back up when prices are lowest."

The newspaper describes, for instance, that Dallas residents are waiting until after 9 p.m. to run the washing machine and dishwasher so it costs them nothing. One resident even unplugs her appliances when she goes to work in the morning then plugs them back in at 9 p.m.

Here's a commercial from utility company boasting its free electricity at night.

It might seem that this set-up is rife for wasting energy (such as cranking up the thermostat past 9 p.m.), but as the Times reports, the scheme actually saves the utility company money in the long term, since shifting use from peak hours means lower wholesale prices, and possibly avoiding the costs of building more power plants.

“That is a proverbial win-win for the utility and the customer,” Omar Siddiqui, director of energy efficiency at the Electric Power Research Institute, told the publication.

EcoWatch mentioned previously that the Lone Star state's top power source is gas (50 percent) followed by coal (32 percent). However, in 2014, wind shot up to 10 percent of the electricity used in the grid, up from 6.2 percent in 2009. Wind powers approximately 3.3 million Texas homes.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), "the growth in wind generation is a result of new wind plants coming online and grid expansions that have allowed more wind power to flow through the system to consumers."

Texas also has the largest deregulated electricity market in the country, making it easier for energy companies to create new incentives and offer more economical choices for customers.

As Scott Burns, senior director for innovation at Reliant Energy, told the Times: “You can be green and make green.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Investing in Clean Energy Will Create Millions of Jobs, Increase GDP and Raise Household Incomes

Solar-Powered Hearing Aids Are Music to the Ears of Kids Around the World

Global Coal Use Falling Fast, Arch Coal Could Face Bankruptcy

World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm Gets Green Light

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less
A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch