Library filed under Energy Policy from Delaware
A fight over the right to build a new in-state power plant has turned Delaware into a tiny battleground in the global fight over clean energy technologies and heat-trapping "greenhouse" gas emissions. But with a series of public hearings set to begin on Tuesday, most members of the public are shooting in the dark when it comes to balancing the environmental impact and costs of the projects. Crucial facts about the three competing proposals remain out of public reach or in dispute. On paper, a review by the Public Service Commission offers residents and policymakers a chance at the cleanest electricity available -- whether it be through wind-, coal-, or natural gas-powered plants -- in amounts that officials say will stabilize prices and improve service reliability.
When Delmarva Power customers saw their bills increase by 59 percent last May, many blamed the increasing cost of natural gas. So state officials went looking for a solution that would protect Delaware residents against volatility in the energy market. The leading plan? Build another natural gas plant. Conectiv’s proposal to build a 180-megawatt natural gas turbine plant at its Hay Road complex beat out plans for an offshore wind farm and a coal gasification plant. A state evaluation of the proposals favored the plan because it offered the best price for consumers in the next 10 years. But a state consultant and a Delmarva consultant concluded that all three proposals would cost ratepayers more than they pay now.
The company that wants to built an offshore wind farm stretching down the Delaware resort coast is crying foul over its proposal’s evaluation. Bluewater Wind LLC — whose bid was ranked second out of three — is requesting that its bid be re-evaluated based on their scores in one category. A re-evaluation could make the eventual construction of its proposed wind turbines more likely.
The public will have to evaluate a proposal for a coal gasification plant without knowing how much pollution it would pump into the air. The Public Service Commission will hold three public hearings next week seeking input on proposals to provide a new source of home-grown electricity to Delmarva Power to meet the state's long-term needs. However, many details from the three proposals have been blacked out, as the companies seek to keep details private.
Delmarva Power has encouraged the state to reject all three energy plant bids, but the bidders are standing by their proposals and the game is far from over. In a filing with the Public Service Commission, the utility company stated moving forward with any of the power plant proposals is not in the best interest of its customers. The company's analysis indicated none of the three proposals offer any savings or price stability and all carry substantial costs. The company received three proposals: a "clean coal" plant from NRG; a wind farm from Bluewater Wind; and a natural gas plant from Conectiv, an affiliate of Delmarva Power.
The winner of a long-term energy contract from Delmarva Power could have a significant effect on Sussex County’s economy, environment and health. An in-depth look at each of the proposals concludes this week with Conectiv’s combined-cycle proposal. Delmarva Power last week recommended rejecting all three proposals it received as it was required to seek in-state suppliers for as much as 400 megawatts of power. But that’s not the end of the story. The final say on the project rests with the state, not Delmarva Power. According to a consulting team hired by the state, a proposed natural gas plant by Conectiv Energy is the best among three bids to provide homegrown power to meet the state’s long-term energy needs, using criteria that weight price and stability above environmental impact.
A wind farm proposed for Delaware's Atlantic Coast would power the region only halfway toward a 400-megawatt goal, documents show. Papers filed with the Public Service Commission put Bluewater Wind's average generation at 194 megawatts, enough output to meet the daily power needs of 216,000 homes. The farm's peak output could reach 600 megawatts under good conditions. The report further complicated a complex power-generating competition among three companies vying for an electric-supply contract with Delmarva Power. In ordering the process last year, lawmakers set a goal of 400 megawatts.
In an effort to secure a lucrative deal to supply Delmarva Power with electricity, three power companies are calling their rivals’ technology risky and potentially harmful to the environment, according to documents obtained by The News Journal. The conflict highlights two innovative but domestically unproven technologies. NRG Energy wants to add a coal gasification facility, perhaps with new environmental safeguards, to its Indian River plant. Bluewater Wind hopes to put up a wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean off the Delaware coast............Bluewater Wind. marked as “confidential” large portions of its filing, including information on electrical capacity. NRG has raised questions about the wind company’s ability to provide electricity during the hottest summer days. But Bluewater Wind removed details about its projected seasonal capacity from its filing.
Energy companies hope to build in Delaware the first offshore wind farm in the nation, as well as a “clean coal” plant larger than any in the country. Three companies say they will file papers with Delmarva Power and the Public Service Commission by a Dec. 22 deadline to supply the company with power to help meet the state’s long-term energy needs. Delmarva was required to seek in-state suppliers for 400 megawatts of power under guidelines approved in October by the state Public Service Commission. That came after the state deregulated the energy industry, leading to a 54 percent rate increase for electricity to residential customers this spring. Three applicants have filed notices of intent to bid with the Public Service Commission:
Wind and water are of no short supply in the Cape Region. That may become increasingly important as lawmakers address what can only be called a crisis in energy costs in Delaware. A package of four bills is to be released for review March 23 to address a proposed rate hike by Delmarva Power, estimated at 59 percent for residential customers and over 100 percent for businesses.
NEW YORK – Seven northeastern U.S. states have signed the country's first plan to create a market for heat-trapping carbon dioxide by curbing emissions at power plants, New York Gov. George Pataki said Tuesday.
After briefly wavering, Governor M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut yesterday agreed to sign onto a multistate greenhouse gas pact that Massachusetts and Rhode Island rejected Wednesday.