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Whole Foods selling credits for electricity

Want wind power?

Just walk to the nearest Whole Foods and buy a Wind Power card.

Whole Foods, one of the nation’s largest wind power purchasers, will sell wind power cards beginning today.

The cards, priced at $5 and $15, will be issued by Renewable Choice Energy, the same Boulder company that sells wind power to Whole Foods.

“This represents a brand new step in allowing a point of entry for any residential customer around the country to start getting used to renewable energy,” said Renewable Choice CEO Quayle Hodek.

For $15, a customer can buy a wind power card worth 750 kilowatt hours – enough to power an average home for a month. For $5, a customer can buy a card for 250 kilowatt hours.

Hodek said the wind power cards cost 2 cents per kilowatt hour – about 20 percent lower than the average premium for wind power charged by most utilities around the nation.

But buying this card does not mean a customer’s home would actually be powered by wind energy.

Rather, the cards offer a sort of guarantee from the producers that they will put that amount of wind-generated electricity (either 750 kwh or 250 kwh) onto the grid on the customer’s behalf.

Green-e, a San Francisco-based company, verifies that no two credits represent the same electricity on the grid.

Hodek, a 28-year-old University of Wisconsin dropout, founded Renewable Choice six years ago.

His company buys renewable energy credits from about 10 wind farms in the Dakotas, Kansas, Minnesota and Wyoming, and later sells those credits to customers, for a profit.

Among his other customers are Vail Resorts, Toyota, Honda, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Disney, Johnson & Johnson and McDonald’s.

By Gargi Chakrabarty, Rocky Mountain News
chakrabartyg@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-954-2976