When you wake up on January 1, you’ll have plenty of things to celebrate — the start of a new year, your favorite team winning a bowl game, and a list of resolutions.
Two things Gulf Power customers can celebrate are a new price decrease and an addition to the utility’s renewable portfolio — wind generation.
Starting January 1, Gulf Power customers will see a 2.7 percent decrease in their electricity bills. The average residential bill for 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity will drop $3.71. This decrease is due mostly to Gulf Power employees’ careful planning to take advantage of lower prices in natural gas and coal used to generate electricity.
Each January the Florida Public Service Commission adjusts Gulf Power’s prices to reflect cost changes in fuel, environmental compliance and energy conservation programs.
According to Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson, the price decrease is a result of Gulf Power employees’ commitment to use the most cost effective fuel resources available to generate electricity.
“We work very hard to manage our fuel mix to provide affordable and reliable electric service for our customers,” said DelaHaya. “This is great news for all our customers. We work hard to keep prices down for our customers and the result is lower electric bills beginning in January.”
Gulf Power customers also will see the addition of another source of renewable energy added to the utility’s energy portfolio. Starting January 1, Gulf Power’s first wind project will become operational in central Oklahoma.
“The power we get from this project in the new year is expected to represent approximately five percent of our projected energy mix,” added DelaHaya. “Wind power helps diversify our power supply and in this case, is projected to provide lower overall energy costs.”
Under the first agreement of its kind in the state, Gulf Power will be a leading purchaser of wind generation among all Florida utilities. Built in central Oklahoma where conditions are favorable for wind energy, the project will supply 178 megawatts of renewable energy to Gulf Power, which is enough energy to power about 50,700 homes per year.
“Wind power is an integral part of our diverse renewable energy portfolio, which will include 120 megawatts of solar energy by the end of the year,” DelaHaya said. “And the best part of these new renewable energy projects is that they are cost effective for customers — it’s cost-effective renewable energy that diversifies our power supply. That makes environmental and economic sense.”
This will be Gulf Power’s fifth renewable energy project following the Perdido Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility, which has produced more than 100 million kilowatt hours of electricity since 2010, and three solar energy projects that are scheduled to be online by December 2016. With approval from the Florida Public Service Commission, the sixth renewable project will be a community solar facility.
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