Articles filed under General from Delaware

Local residents will get a look at wind farm

Local residents will be able to see just what a proposed offshore wind farm would look like, before it is even built. Bluewater Wind - which have put in a bid to the state and Delmarva Power to build a 200 turbine offshore wind farm - is planning a photo visualizations tour for the resort coast. The exhibit will feature visual displays of the proposed windfarm as if it were being viewed from Delaware beaches.
29 Mar 2007

Ridge-top wind generates debate

States with renewable portfolio standards have generated growth in the renewable energy sector, but many of the Appalachian states don't have one. Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York all have some fairly progressive goals, but West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee don't have a state RPS and wind projects often ignite battles.
28 Mar 2007

Wind farm talk could blow by

With all the discussion of a wind farm possibly being placed in the ocean spanning Delaware's resort coast, the question comes up - is it all just talk? There have been many public meetings, seminars and lectures regarding the offshore wind farm's proposal and a lot of vocal support for it. The wind farm was proposed by Bluewater Wind in response to Delmarva Power being required by the state to look into ways of adding to the power supply. It is one of three bids - the other two being a cleaner-coal facility by NRG and a natural gas plant by Conectiv. Conectiv scored highest in last month's bid evaluations, with Bluewater Wind coming in second and NRG, third. The bids are under review by four state agencies: the Public Service Commission, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General's Office. Delmarva Power representatives have requested all three bids be thrown out.
25 Mar 2007

Wind, coal proposal advocates square off

GEORGETOWN -- Wind and coal power advocates pressed their case, sometimes angrily, Monday as the first round of public comments ended in a potential multibillion-dollar race for rights to build a new Delaware power plant. About 150 people turned out for the state-sponsored session at the Georgetown campus of Delaware Technical & Community College. Four state agencies convened the meeting while evaluating three proposals for plants ranging in size from 177 megawatts to 600 megawatts. State lawmakers ordered Delmarva Power to seek new, reliable in-state electric supplies for its standard-offer customers last year after public complaints about rate hikes that followed deregulation in 1999. Bids included Conectiv's proposal for a 177-megawatt, mostly natural gas-fired plant to meet peak needs; Bluewater Wind LLC's offer of a 200-turbine windmill farm off the Atlantic Coast and NRG Energy's proposal for a 600-megawatt plant that would burn synthetic, natural gas-like fuel made from coal.
13 Mar 2007

Details of power plan may see light

Public Service Commission staffers are expected to call for the release of a substantial amount of information being withheld by companies vying to build a new power plant, a top commission official said Thursday. The information — including how the projects would be financed, costs of electricity they would generate, and the amount of pollution they would emit — has been blacked-out from documents because the companies claim releasing it would put them at a competitive disadvantage. But several individuals and organizations, including The News Journal, have called for the release of details because the state’s formula for choosing the winning bidder is based solely on financial and pollution information. Those calls were rebuffed until Wednesday when Bruce Burcat, the executive director of the Public Service Commission, said the agency was reviewing the documents with an eye toward recommending release of details at its March 20 meeting.
9 Mar 2007

Alternative energy too costly, say consultants

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.
4 Mar 2007

Environmental costs prove hard to assess

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.
4 Mar 2007

Wind group wants better evaluation

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.
1 Mar 2007

NRG gets pass on emissions level

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.
28 Feb 2007

Delmarva Power encourages rejections

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.
28 Feb 2007

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

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
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