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Bluewater criticizes Senate report

Bluewater Wind issued a blistering rebuttal to a draft Senate report that calls its offshore wind power contract too expensive and the fruits of a flawed process. Bluewater's rebuttal calls the Senate report an "advocacy piece" that should not receive the deference a "neutral party reporting fairly on the evidence would be afforded." It's time for the government to give Bluewater an answer, the rebuttal says. ...The report, which is advisory and does not require a full Senate vote, says the Public Service Commission and other state agencies did not properly carry out legislative instructions to look for new, in-state sources of generation.

Bluewater Wind issued a blistering rebuttal to a draft Senate report that calls its offshore wind power contract too expensive and the fruits of a flawed process.

Bluewater's rebuttal calls the Senate report an "advocacy piece" that should not receive the deference a "neutral party reporting fairly on the evidence would be afforded."

It's time for the government to give Bluewater an answer, the rebuttal says. "There has been plenty of study and time to evaluate the efficacy of this proposal and it is time for resolution," the rebuttal says.

The Senate report, which was expected to be released Tuesday, saw its release delayed a day.

Meanwhile, a House-endorsed resolution calling for the approval of the offshore wind farm contract has been assigned to the Senate's Executive Committee.

The chairman of that committee, Sen. Thurman Adams, D-Bridgeville, said it may be some time before the committee considers the resolution.

"That'll be a while," Adams said as he headed into the Senate chamber Tuesday afternoon. "I don't know if we'll get a vote or not. It depends on how the discussion comes out."

The legislative session runs until June 30, and Bluewater, which... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Bluewater Wind issued a blistering rebuttal to a draft Senate report that calls its offshore wind power contract too expensive and the fruits of a flawed process.

Bluewater's rebuttal calls the Senate report an "advocacy piece" that should not receive the deference a "neutral party reporting fairly on the evidence would be afforded."

It's time for the government to give Bluewater an answer, the rebuttal says. "There has been plenty of study and time to evaluate the efficacy of this proposal and it is time for resolution," the rebuttal says.

The Senate report, which was expected to be released Tuesday, saw its release delayed a day.

Meanwhile, a House-endorsed resolution calling for the approval of the offshore wind farm contract has been assigned to the Senate's Executive Committee.

The chairman of that committee, Sen. Thurman Adams, D-Bridgeville, said it may be some time before the committee considers the resolution.

"That'll be a while," Adams said as he headed into the Senate chamber Tuesday afternoon. "I don't know if we'll get a vote or not. It depends on how the discussion comes out."

The legislative session runs until June 30, and Bluewater, which wants a 25-year contract with Delmarva Power, is hoping to get a vote before lawmakers adjourn.

The discussion Adams referred to was, in part, about the report approved by the Senate energy committee last week.

The report, which is advisory and does not require a full Senate vote, says the Public Service Commission and other state agencies did not properly carry out legislative instructions to look for new, in-state sources of generation. The agencies distorted rules on bidding and passed over less expensive alternatives, the report said.

In its rebuttal, Bluewater claimed the report was substantively similar to Delmarva's own legal filings, with no counter-argument.

"Without proper attribution, the Speck Report recites line by line legal arguments previously put forth by Delmarva Power and Conectiv, as if they are novel," the rebuttal argues. Randall Speck is the attorney hired by the committee to question witnesses during the hearings.

Delmarva is opposing the contract.

The Delmarva legal arguments that Bluewater refers to include questions about whether the agencies should have used an arbitrator to form a contract; whether the agencies' hearings should have been more formal, including cross-examination and witnesses testifying under oath; and why the contract was not given to the bidder who scored highest on a point-by-point evaluation.

Bluewater also questioned the use of former longtime Delmarva mechanical engineer Ralph Nigro, now a consultant with Applied Energy Group, as a consultant to the Senate energy panel during the hearings. The consulting firm lists Delmarva as one of its clients.

Nigro could not be reached for comment.

Bluewater argued that there was a public, rigorous competition for the right to negotiate with Delmarva for a long-term contract.

"Bluewater won the honor, fair and square," the wind farm developer's report said.

Delmarva Power spokesman Bill Yingling declined to comment specifically on the Bluewater rebuttal, but said the Senate report will likely support a primary argument made by the utility.

"We've not reviewed the final report yet, but from what I understand it reflects our overriding concern that Bluewater Wind's proposal is too expensive to put on the backs of our customers for 25 years," Yingling said.

Sen. Harris McDowell III, D-Wilmington, the chairman of the energy committee that approved the Senate report, said he had not seen the Bluewater rebuttal.

Sen. Robert L. Venables Sr., D-Laurel, said McDowell has no ties to Delmarva, and any agreement with the utility's views are coincidental. Of the Bluewater proposal, he said, "Your electric bill would go up substantially." To approve the Bluewater contract would be like reregulating the state's electricity industry, he said.

Sen. Charlie Copeland, R-West Farms, said the full Senate ought to take some kind of vote on the matter. Copeland opposes the contract as too expensive.

Contact Aaron Nathans at 324-2786 or anathans@delawareonline.com.


Source: http://www.delawareonline.c...

APR 23 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/14628-bluewater-criticizes-senate-report
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