Brrrr! U.S. Wind Saved Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic Consumers $1 Billion During 2014’s Polar Vortex

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As extreme cold grips large chunks of the U.S. this winter season, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) notes that wind energy can help protect against costly energy price spikes.

In fact, AWEA notes, wind energy also saved consumers $1 billion in just two days when similar extreme cold hit the U.S. a year ago.

‘With extreme cold now moving through much of the Midwest and Eastern U.S., wind energy is once again helping to keep the lights on and protecting consumers against costly energy price spikes,’ says Michael Goggin, AWEA's director of research.

AWEA analysis revealed savings from using fixed-price wind energy added up to $1 billion, or $15 per person, on the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes power grid during a two-day period in January 2014.

Wind energy did this by protecting against spikes in the price of other fuels and keeping power prices low during periods of high demand. While other power plants failed in last January's extreme cold or faced skyrocketing prices for fuel, wind energy continued producing electricity as expected with zero fuel cost.
Wind energy always provides these benefits by making the U.S. energy portfolio more diverse, AWEA states, but the benefits can become particularly pronounced when the electric grid is stressed, such as in extreme temperatures.

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