Wyoming has one of the nation’s best wind resources. But if a contingent of state senators and representatives there have their way, electric utilities located in the state will be slapped on the wrist for using it (or other renewables, for that matter). Senate File 71, which has been introduced in the Wyoming State Senate and was referred to the Corporations Committee this week, would impose an “Electricity Production Standard” on the state’s electric utilities, requiring them to procure 95% of the energy used for load from “eligible generating resources” in 2018 and 100% in 2019. The catch is that “eligible generating resources” are limited to coal, hydro, natural gas, net metering (limited to 25 kW), nukes, and oil. Wind, solar, geothermal, etc. are mysteriously absent… The legislation would also cause electric utilities to demonstrate their compliance through “energy credits” obtained from “eligible generating resources”–“not-RECs” perhaps?–and shortfalls could cost utilities a penalty of up to $10/MWh.
And Wyoming is not the only state where wind energy is under attack. A North Dakota state legislator is proposing to impose a “$1.50/MWh generated” tax on wind farms, as well as an additional tax equal to 10% of the production tax credit. Representative Roscoe Streyle describes the proposal as leveling the playing field for coal.
One step forward, a century of steps back.