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AUSTIN EDITION - Austin Utilities reduces cost of wind power

From staff reports

Austin residents will have the option to buy wind power at one cent per kilowatt hour beginning June 2.

The price will reflect a two-thirds reduction from the present price of 3.5 cents per kilowatt.

According to Austin Utilities, residents can make purchases of the one-cent premium price kilowatts in blocks of 100.

Because it is a member of Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, the city was able to have the price reduced. The agency recently installed and put into operation two wind turbines near Fairmont.

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"Customers are asking for more access to renewable energy. A lower price on wind power will allow more customers to participate, and the lower cost will allow them to adjust their level of investment," General Manager Jerry McCarthy said.

The two units are expected to generate at least $5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The amount will be enough to serve 700 homes for the next 25 years.

Billing will appear as a separate line item on their monthly bill. For information, customers can stop at Austin Utilities office at 400 Fourth St. N.E.

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