Monday, June 29, 2009

Strange Bedfellows

Newsflash: Valero is embracing wind energy. Sort of.

Valero has installed a wind farm adjacent to one of its Texas facilities. At peak production, the farm will generate 50 MW, enough to power the adjacent facility nearly half of the time.

According to a report:

"The company hopes to lock in fluctuating electricity prices by developing its own source of power, rather than relying on the grid, and to cut the $1.4-million-a-month electricity bill at the seven-decade-old refinery. The $115 million wind farm, which will be ready to operate at full capacity in August, will pay for itself in about 10 years at current electricity prices, company officials said."

It's a win-win for Valero because, not only will the wind farm lower its electric bill, it will generate plenty of REC's for Valero to sell on the open market.

Despite all of the talk out of Washington about the number of jobs green energy will create across the country, it is interesting to note that, in this particula case, the wind farm creates a grand total of 3 new jobs (the number of people required to operate it once it is up and running)-- compared to 1,500 jobs required to run the adjacent facility.

Using renewable energy to power fossile fuel production may not be exactly what green energy advocates had in mind, but it certainly appears to make sense.

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