Library filed under General from Delaware

Regulators deal blow to wind farm; Report criticizing costs 'pretty much a nail in the coffin,' senator says

A proposed offshore wind farm off the coast of Rehoboth Beach was dealt a serious setback Monday, after the Public Service Commission staff released a report criticizing the plans as too financially risky to ratepayers. The project, in its current form, could add as much as $55 to Delmarva ratepayers' monthly bills, the 91-page staff report said. The Delaware PSC staff lauded Bluewater for offering to add a significant amount of pollution-free electricity to the grid, but contended that the 150-turbine proposal is far different from the 200-turbine version Bluewater submitted last year. ...the staff calculated the new proposal results in a premium of $11.71 per megawatt hour. That's a conservative estimate, the staff suggested. If commodities continue to increase in price as they have in recent years, coupled with a delay in construction, that could push the additional price per megawatt hour above $55, the report said.
30 Oct 2007

Panel unveils wind report; Contract terms analysis being released today

Delaware's Public Service Commission today is set to release its analysis of proposed contract terms between three energy companies for the country's first offshore wind-powered electrical generators. ..."Bluewater still believes that over the 25-year life of the project, a wind-hybrid project will save Delaware (electric) rate payers money because the market model for gas or other base load providers will cost more because of the carbon taxes related to climate change, global warming and sea level rise," Mr. Lanard said.
29 Oct 2007

Wind farm plan dealt a blow

A proposal to build a wind farm off the Delaware coast would be too expensive for ratepayers, and is not in the public interest in its current form, the Public Service Commission staff said in a report released today. ...The report suggested that negotiations between Bluewater and Delmarva led to dramatically higher prices. Ratepayers would bear those added costs, the staff wrote. The proposal as it stands is far different from the one Bluewater first submitted, the staff wrote. The staff criticized Bluewater's proposal to pass along to Delmarva increases in the cost of commodities like steel and fuel, noting that the terms allow the price to Delmarva to increase, but not decrease. ..."Although staff would like to be part of the effort to pioneer offshore wind power to take control of Delaware's energy future, such a recommendation is - at this time - not in the public interest and is not consistent with the underlying principles of the Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006."
29 Oct 2007

Offshore windfarm numbers might not add up; Project's developer says costs can be kept down

... a Long Island man who has crunched offshore wind farm numbers says it's unclear from Bluewater's financial documents how it intends to accomplish that and remain financially viable. ...But Delmarva is a reluctant participant, having been forced by four state agencies to negotiate with Bluewater. Delmarva officials have fretted about the cost of wind power to their ratepayers, pointing out that the Long Island project is on the brink of being canceled because it cost too much. Bluewater spokesman Jim Lanard said his company will be able to build wind projects "considerably cheaper" by paying less for the same types of components. Lanard said Bluewater can beat Long Island wind farm developer FPL Energy's price on turbines, labor, ship rentals and installation costs. ...The Bluewater contract includes "escalators" for increases in the price of commodities such as steel, copper, aluminum and lead, to cover increases during the two-year period between the time the contract is signed and executed. ...A more important hedge would be to account for increases in the cost of finished turbines, but that's missing from the term sheet, Dale said.
21 Oct 2007

Wind backup pollutes, experts say; Natural gas plant would boost emissions, UD professors say

A multibillion-dollar proposal to supply Delaware with electrical power from offshore windmills would actually increase air pollution within the state, critics say. Because winds don't always blow strongly enough to generate power, windmills would require backup electricity supplies to meet anticipated demand. The pending offshore wind proposal includes a backup natural gas power plant that could also produce power for sale in other states. ...The added pollution and extra cost have led some to question both the wind and the gas plant project. Delmarva and others called last year for conservation and better reliance on regional power supplies to meet future demands, instead of a massive new investment.
20 Oct 2007

REHOBOTH BEACH: Turbine plan brings whirlwind of questions

"There are a number of us who are concerned about how to put this thing in the proper context, as opposed to just plowing forward with one proposal from one company to do one thing," Keifer said. Too few groups are asking questions about Bluewater's plans, and too many are accepting the company's predictions on faith, he said. "There's a place for wind power, but it's not a question of religion,"...
7 Oct 2007

NRG, Conectiv spar over plant plans

NRG Energy and Conectiv Energy traded accusations that the other's proposal to back up a wind farm is impractical. The companies are vying to build a natural gas plant to back up Bluewater Wind's proposed offshore wind farm when the wind isn't blowing as hard. The two plants would provide electrical power on a long-term basis to Delmarva Power.
6 Oct 2007

Legislators want a say on wind power vote

Some lawmakers remain concerned about the price of offshore wind energy, which has not yet been used in this country. Copeland said he was concerned the deal would lock ratepayers into higher bills than if electricity suppliers competed on a regular basis to fill Delmarva's required renewable-energy purchases. He said the public should be able to have its voice heard through their elected representatives. "We ought to let private investors compete against one another to get us the best price point and price stability. I think the marketplace would do that better than some regulatory regime," Copeland said. He said he wants to make sure low-income residents can afford wind power.
2 Oct 2007

Delmarva continues to balk at wind farm; Utility cites costs, risks of Bluewater proposal

Delmarva Power said a proposed 150-turbine wind farm poses extra costs and risks for its customers, setting the stage for a potentially contentious review by state officials who had hoped to move quickly toward a final contract. Although its numbers were similar to those Bluewater Wind released on Thursday, Delmarva said there were many areas where the two companies had not reached agreement, including the start date, as well as the amount of energy provided in any given hour. The terms were included in a document Delmarva released Friday.
15 Sep 2007

Skeptic suspects wind power is just hot air

When the Delaware Public Service Commission ordered Delmarva Power to obtain local power sources, that was supposed to be a means of providing price relief for electric consumers. At least that's what the Delaware Legislature had in mind when they passed the legislation. Somehow, eco-dreamers hijacked the price relief aspect of the plan, and the result is a pie-in-the-sky scheme to put a wind farm off the Delaware coast...........I have a really bad feeling about staking future energy availability on a proposal by a company to build an unreliable power source out in the ocean to transmit electricity to the mainland for distribution.
19 Aug 2007

Coastal wind parks await consent

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Multiple reports and studies, especially those published in the last year, suggest the United States, specifically the East Coast, has great potential for offshore wind. The politicized debate over whether to develop wind power offshore has dragged on since the late 1990s, when the first project was proposed in Cape Cod, Mass., off the Nantucket Sound. Since then there have been several other proposals, none of which has been completely approved.
9 Jul 2007

Emissions, regulation, siting among legislative priorities in Northeast

Legislators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic passed a number of bills applying to the electric power industry, with several states committing to emissions reductions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other states making broad organizational changes to their regulatory processes.
6 Jul 2007

Wind farm competition bid denied

DOVER -- Four state agencies rebuffed Conectiv Energy's request to submit an offshore wind farm proposal to compete with Bluewater Wind. At Tuesday's Public Service Commission meeting, Conectiv officials argued they would have submitted a proposal for a wind farm earlier if they had known that state officials were seriously thinking about commissioning one. Instead, they proposed a natural gas plant. But members of the commission, and other state agencies, collectively said Conectiv's overture came too late. Bluewater Wind is already in negotiations with Delmarva Power for a long-term power purchase agreement.
4 Jul 2007

House rejects amendment to stop power lines

WASHINGTON - The House rejected a resolution Wednesday that would block government plans to spur construction of major new power lines in many states regardless of local opposition. The issue has been contentious in parts of the East Coast and in the Southwest, where two high priority transmission corridors for power lines were proposed. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., warned colleagues that unwanted power lines could come to their district.
21 Jun 2007
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