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Former PSC head Frisby stresses need for more capacity

H. Russell Frisby Jr., who was chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission from 1995 to 1998 and now represents the advocacy group Marylanders for Reliable Power, said Friday at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference that the clock is ticking for Maryland to free up enough capacity to meet the state's growing demand, and residents need to realize that.

Maryland's former top energy regulator says local leaders around the state must make urgent appeals to their constituents to support electric infrastructure improvements before the state experiences power shortages projected to hit as soon as 2011.

H. Russell Frisby Jr., who was chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission from 1995 to 1998 and now represents the advocacy group Marylanders for Reliable Power, said Friday at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference that the clock is ticking for Maryland to free up enough capacity to meet the state's growing demand, and residents need to realize that.

Infrastructure - especially water and energy - were key themes at last week's conference. Gov. Martin O'Malley was expected to use the annual governor's address to the association to discuss a new framework for handling the state's energy needs.

At a Thursday news conference, O'Malley said he would outline a new plan to find or build electric generation to use in the state, and noted that local governments might be able to help out with the solution.

"There could well be a sort of out-of-the-box role for county governments and state governments to pursue together, whether... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Maryland's former top energy regulator says local leaders around the state must make urgent appeals to their constituents to support electric infrastructure improvements before the state experiences power shortages projected to hit as soon as 2011.

H. Russell Frisby Jr., who was chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission from 1995 to 1998 and now represents the advocacy group Marylanders for Reliable Power, said Friday at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference that the clock is ticking for Maryland to free up enough capacity to meet the state's growing demand, and residents need to realize that.

Infrastructure - especially water and energy - were key themes at last week's conference. Gov. Martin O'Malley was expected to use the annual governor's address to the association to discuss a new framework for handling the state's energy needs.

At a Thursday news conference, O'Malley said he would outline a new plan to find or build electric generation to use in the state, and noted that local governments might be able to help out with the solution.

"There could well be a sort of out-of-the-box role for county governments and state governments to pursue together, whether it's through metropolitan councils or regional councils of government, to make sure that we make investments in peaking units and things that will relieve some of the pressure that the grid's going to be experiencing," he said.

Frisby said the solution must be a multi-tiered approach because transmission, conservation or new generation are not going to cut the shortage alone.

"In utility speak, 2012 is yesterday. It takes years to build these things," said Frisby, whose group is a coalition of businesses, labor and other groups. Frisby said Maryland must not be slowed, especially in building new transmission lines planned to import out-of-state power.

"It's politically uncertain, but it's something we have to move forward with quickly," he said, calling on county leaders to tell residents how critical the improvements are. "We can't say ‘not in my back yard.'"

Noel B. Chesser, an energy consultant with South River Consulting in Baltimore, told a panel at the MACo conference that he thinks there is a role on both the state and local levels for renewable energy to help offset the area's energy demand.

Some local governments already use gas from landfills to generate power, and Chesser said others can take advantage of the practice to save money and reduce their contribution to demand on the grid. He also said wind energy could work offshore in Maryland.

"I've been told that off the coast of Maryland is like the Saudi Arabia of wind," Chesser said.

O'Malley has said several times that he would like to explore whether Maryland could participate in a wind project recently approved in Delaware. Bluewater Wind LLC is seeking to build a 200 megawatt offshore wind farm in Delaware, which could become the first offshore project in the nation.


Source: http://www.mddailyrecord.co...

AUG 17 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16580-former-psc-head-frisby-stresses-need-for-more-capacity
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