Northern States Power Co. (NSP) is "tremendously excited about wind power" the utility's chairman said. In August 1992 NSP agreed to build or purchase 100MW of electricity from wind machines in southwestern Minnesota by 1998. As part of the compromise that allows NSP to store nuclear waste in large steel casks at Prairie Island, the State Legislature required the utility purchase 425MW of electricity from wind farms by 2002. The NSP chairman cautioned that there may be problems with transmission lines or other concerns, but he said the utility has enough time to work them out. A cooperative project was begun recently to collect data on wind speeds during the next two years at eight sites that have potential for large scale wind farms.
This report has been prepared at the request of EPA to provide an economic analysis of: 1) the costs to Tacoma of the mitigation measures I have been asked by EP to analyze (the "EPA straw man" mitigation measures), 2) how those costs would affect the total cost of Cushman Project generation and any required replacement generation, and 3) the consequences for TCL and its ratepayers of those costs. This report does not address either the environmental or economic benefits of the proposed mitigation measures, such as fishery and recreation benefits, which FERC will be obligated to consider in any Cushman licensing decision.
The proposed mitigation package would increase the cost of electricity produced at Cushman and reduce the amount of electricity generated at Cushman, without substantial rate increases and without jeopardizing Tacoma's competitive position in a deregulated market.