Energy

Local Investigation Reveals Pricey Wind Turbine Only Powered 8 Homes

A taxpayer-funded Wisconsin wind turbine only generated enough electricity to power eight homes, according to an investigation published Monday by a local Fox affiliate.

Fox News 11 in Green Bay investigated a now shut-down wind turbine built “10 years ago at a cost of $127,000.” The investigation found that about half the money for the turbine came from taxpayers before it was shut down. The investigation concluded that the wind turbine had only ever powered a maximum of eight homes.

The turbine and “more and more equipment to produce renewable energy, paid for with the help of state and federal dollars, is sitting idle,” according to Fox.

The turbine was built to comply with Wisconsin’s 2006 green energy mandate, which requires the state to get 10 percent of its electricity from wind, solar and bio-energy. The increased price of electricity caused by the mandate resulted in roughly $1 billion in lost economic activity in Wisconsin each year and 7,000 to 10,000 lost jobs, according to a study by the University of Wyoming.

Wisconsin’s mandate explicitly allows utilities to pass the additional costs of green energy onto citizens by increasing their rates. Despite the economic damage, Wisconsin is doubling down on green energy mandate, requiring that 25 percent of Wisconsin’s electricity come from green sources by the year 2025.

A total of 28 other states have or had similar policies forcing more green energy onto the power grid. Now, with more state legislatures in the hands of Republicans, green energy mandates are being repealed or scaled back across the country. States like Kansas, West Virginia, Texas, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Colorado have already repealed their renewable energy mandates.

The average American’s electric bill has gone up 10 percent since January, 2009, due in part to regulations imposed by President Barack Obama and state governments, even though the price of generating power has declined. The price of generating electricity in the eastern U.S. has fallen by 50 percent since 2009, but utilities raised monthly bills for residential customers, according to government data.

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