College Station City Council To Review Wind Watts Program

Winds of change could be coming to College Station's green electricity program.

News 3 has learned the Wind Watts program, which allows customers to use electricity generated by the wind isn't working as well as city staff would like.

Larry Hodges uses a lot of electricity as the owner of Copy Corner and the building he and two tenants use on Texas Avenue.

"Hopefully we're making a little bit of a difference," said Larry Hodges.

Hodges is trying to make that difference with College Station Utilities' Wind Watts program, where residents and businesses can sign up to have a portion or all of their electricity come from a wind farm in West Texas near Sweetwater.

Everything outside his store is powered by the wind including the signs, parking lot lights, and irrigation system.

Going green has come with a price though.

"We've looked at solar and that was cost prohibitive to do our own panels so we thought this would be a good way to start the program and see where it led," he said.

The College Station City Council will be reviewing the program later this year to find out why the plan hasn't taken off. Only six businesses and 506 residential customers have signed up.

"Originally it was a premium service where there was an additional fee attached to the Wind Watts to help reforest the community so there was a tree element to it as well. It did not take off as well as staff had hoped it would," said College Station Mayor Nancy Berry.

Mayor Berry tells us it's too soon to say what changes might be made.

"Let's look at it thoroughly to see if it's still meeting the objectives and if not why not and what can we do to fix it," she said.

Larry Hodges hopes to bring the program to the inside of his building if the extra costs go down, which include a $7 monthly fee and other charges.

"They'll find a way to make it work for everybody," Hodges said.

City staff is expected to give an update on the program later this spring.

Meanwhile seven percent of BTU's power comes from wind energy.

Austin Energy has the most participants nationwide of customers signed up for exclusive green power, with more than 15,000.

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