The analysis for the advocacy group Americans for a Clean Energy Grid found that if 20 GW was added to the existing 10 GW of wind capacity in the MISO region, consumers’ power costs would decline by $3 billion to $6.9 billion a year after the costs of new transmission is factored in.
An extra 40 GW of wind power would result in net savings of $3.3 billion to $9.4 billion a year after allowing for the costs of new transmission, the report said.
The average Midwest ISO residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would save between $63 and $147 a year in 2020 if 20 GW of wind were added, rising to $71 to $200 a year under the 40 GW scenario.
Wholesale power prices would drop by $3 – $10 per MWh in the near term and by as much as $50 MWh by 2030 under the additional wind power scenarios.
Size matters in wind
Wind has been getting cheaper as turbines expand and their hubs rise further from the ground to harness the Midwest’s abundant wind resources, according to the report, conducted by Synapse Energy Economics.
The cost of wind power has also been declining relative to coal-fired generation which is becoming more costly as a result of tougher federal regulations on air emissions, and that’s particularly relevant in the MISO area where more than half of generating capacity is coal-fired.
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