Kudos to Crow Wing Power For Their Truth in Billing

Crow Wing Power has a soft spot in my heart for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that the co-op purchased mineral rights for what is believed to be the richest manganese deposit in the United States, located in Emily, Minnesota. Currently, the U.S. imports all of its manganese from countries like South Africa. Crow Wing plans on developing these resources to generate additional income, which a very cool.

Another reason I admire Crow Wing Power is because they shoot straight on the true cost of wind power on their website. This was discovered by our intern, Mitchell Rolling.

Rather than pretend that renewable energy is “free,” which seems to be common among electricity providers in the state, Crow Wing Power has an optional program where customers can sign on to purchase wind power, and this disclaimer:

“Why is there an added charge for wind energy?

At this time, the costs of research and development for wind energy are higher than most other sources of power. Also, when the wind is not blowing, the turbines are idle. That requires constructing duplicate generators using coal or other fossil fuels to provide 100% reliability. However, we believe our members understand that selecting wind energy is a worthwhile choice.”

Reasonable people can disagree over whether installing more wind energy is a worthwhile choice, but compliments to Crow Wing Power for being upfront and honest about how, and why, wind power costs more money than other generation resources.

Other power providers should follow suit and put the true cost of renewables (including the cost of renewables and duplicate generators) as a line item cost on customers’ utility bills. Truth in Billing and opt-in’s for renewable energy programs would allow people to decide for themselves whether they deem the additional cost of renewable energy as a worthwhile choice, or whether they prioritize lower rates.

As the Crow (Wing) flies, so should other power companies.