Articles from Delaware

Energy proposals are still on the table; state prefers gas plant

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.
25 Feb 2007

Delmarva Power rejects all bids

While many on the lower shore debated the merits of coal, off-shore wind and natural gas for months, Delmarva Power opted to reject all three. In a filing with the Public Service Commission, the utility company stated that moving forward with any of the 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, according to a statement released today.
23 Feb 2007

Wind farm would not always meet power goal

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.
20 Feb 2007

Coastal wind plant proposal has fans, critics

Bluewater Wind wants the first state to build the first offshore wind plant in the country. While the United States has many on-shore wind farms, Bluewater is proposing to build a wind farm off the Atlantic Coast. The company is proposing two locations: one 11 miles off the coast of Rehoboth Beach; the other, 6.9 miles off the coast of Bethany Beach. The plant would include 200 turbines and could start spinning as early as 2010.
18 Feb 2007

Delmarva proposals could be rejected

Despite the ongoing review of billion-dollar proposals to add new-generation coal or off-shore wind farms to Delaware’s mix of power generators, one possible alternative — do nothing — remains a distinct possibility. State lawmakers ordered Delmarva to seek electricity supplies from new Delaware sources last year, with the Public Service Commission, Controller General’s office, Delaware Energy Office and the Office of Management and Budget making the selection. The measure arose in part from public backlash over a 59 percent jump in rates tied to deregulation of the utility industry, along with concerns over Delmarva’s ability to meet consumer demand and pressure for cleaner, “renewable” fuel sources. Plans now call for a choice and referral to Delmarva by May. But agency evaluators could choose none of the above.
17 Feb 2007

Danish study says offshore projects pose few risks

Wind power lessons in the North Sea paved some of the road to a proposed 200-turbine wind farm off Delaware’s shoreline. One of the most important findings recently shared from offshore projects in Denmark: Big wind farms can operate with few environmental risks to birds, fish and other aquatic creatures “under the right conditions.” “Appropriate siting of offshore wind farms is an essential precondition for ensuring limited impact on nature and the environment,” the Danish Energy Authority reported in November. Denmark released its report after plugging in what is now the world’s largest offshore wind operation: Two sites with 152 turbines located up to 12.4 miles offshore. “Appropriate” is the key word to Susan Nickerson, a Massachusetts environmentalist who attended a conference in Denmark to mark release of the report last year. “The big discussion that’s unfolding here is: How much data do you need preconstruction, and how much should this concept of ‘adaptive management’ be relied upon,” Nickerson said.
11 Feb 2007

Energy companies will reconsider secrecy of bid proposals

Three power companies now in the running for a Delmarva Power supply deal agreed Tuesday to reconsider confidentiality claims that barred the public from seeing some details in proposals they submitted to the Public Service Commission. “It may well be that some of the decisions made with respect to confidentiality under the extreme press of these deadlines are worth a second look,” said Thomas McGonigle, an attorney who represents Bluewater Wind LLC, a company that has proposed an offshore windmill generator “farm” under a process ordered by the General Assembly. Bluewater Wind, NRG Energy and Conectiv are competing for the deal, sought by lawmakers as a way to assure the state will have secure and stable long-term electricity supplies and prices. NRG has proposed building a new-generation plant that will fuel turbines with a high-energy mix of gases extracted from coal. Conectiv wants to build a more-conventional natural-gas fired turbine at its complex along Hay Road in east Wilmington. “I cannot imagine a situation where we will be asked to make a decision without knowing what the end of the day price is going to be to the ratepayers,” said Philip Cherry, a Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control administrator. DNREC, the Controller General’s Office and the state’s budget agency are participating in the selection.
6 Feb 2007

Power suppliers attack their rivals’ technology

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.
4 Feb 2007

Wind farm proposal explained

With an already large agricultural industry in Sussex County, a new type of farm is being proposed — but you will not find it on land. A company is proposing to build a wind farm with 200 electricity-generating turbines in the Atlantic Ocean just off the Delaware coast. At a meeting hosted by the Center for the Inland Bays, representatives for Bluewater Wind stated their case for wind power to a crowd of environmental experts and concerned citizens. Bluewater Wind has put in a bid with Delmarva Power to add to Delaware’s power supply.
23 Jan 2007

Survey: Offshore wind power gains support

A U.S. survey indicates there's strong backing for offshore wind power as a future source of energy, at least in the state of Delaware. The survey, conducted by University of Delaware researchers, showed more than 90 percent of the 949 Delaware residents polled voiced support for an offshore wind option, in which wind turbines as tall as 40-story buildings would be erected to generate electricity. Fewer than 10 percent of participants voted for an expansion of coal or natural gas power at current prices.
17 Jan 2007

Power source in the wind? Proponents hail offshore turbines as energy suppliers

Delmarva Power and state officials have until the end of February to decide who could be a new electric provider in Delaware. Among the choices is offshore wind power, which could be a first for the First State. “We know that the on-shore wind resource is really pretty poor, we know that the offshore wind resource is really much better,” said Phil Cherry, energy program administrator for the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
8 Jan 2007

Three companies to bid to supply Delmarva; ‘clean coal,’ wind farm among power proposals

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:
15 Dec 2006

Bluewater wants to bring first offshore wind farm to Delaware

The first off-shore wind farm in the United States could be coming to the First State. Bluewater Wind, a developer of off-shore wind energy, is one of the companies competing for a long-term energy contract with Delmarva Power. Delmarva Power is requesting a proposal for an energy provider to help stabilize the price of energy in the state. Bluewater Wind is one of the companies competing for the contract, along with NRG, which has proposed expanding its coal facility on the Indian River Bay. Delmarva Power will choose an energy company in November.
18 Oct 2006

Wind-power project off Delaware coast on PSC agenda

A company that hopes to build power-generating wind turbines off Delaware’s coast will brief state Public Service Commission members on the topic Tuesday. The proposal comes as the state’s largest power delivery company, Delmarva Power, scrambles to line up new long-term supplies. State environmental officials said that New York-based Bluewater Wind LLC has approached them to discuss general terms for an offshore wind project. The company also has said that it plans to submit a supply proposal to Delmarva under a PSC-supervised bidding process. State lawmakers approved a bill this year requiring Delmarva to secure supply bids this year, including requirements to consider new in-state generating sites and electricity produced from renewable fuels or technologies.
2 Oct 2006

Legislation tackling rising electric rates to be released in General Assembly

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.
30 Mar 2006
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