A Columbia County city plans to become the first community in New York state to purchase its electricity as locally-produced wind power.
Researchers say that with a little effort, New York could get the power it needs from wind, water and sunlight by 2030. The city of Hudson is leading the pack for now with the announcement it will purchase electricity through retailer Viridian Energy. Hudson Mayor William Hallenbeck hails the move as a "win-win for the environment and for taxpayers."
In 10 years’ time the city hopes to save more than 500 thousand dollars. Hudson's current annual electric bill is in the neighborhood of $250,000. Mayor Hallenback is also encouraging residents to switch to green power.
National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella explains how the green power supply gets delivered to Hudson, and how the ESCO process works. He says National Grid allows customers to choose which company supplies their electricity.
Eric Rosenbloom with National Wind Watch points out that Hudson will be getting exactly the same electricity as before. He points out that the city is buying the right to "claim" the wind energy on the system, even though they are not actually getting anything different from their neighbors.
But Valerie Strauss, interim executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, a group that represents renewable energy interests, counters that the long-term commitment to continue to invest in resources is the more important issue of note.
Hudson goes green in June. Viridian officials say 100 percent of their renewable energy can be certified by Green-e, the nation’s top independent certification and verification program.