Monday, July 16, 2007

Round One of Wind Power Negotiations Is Almost Over

When the PSC and three other agencies ordered Delmarva Power to negotiate with Bluewater Wind to bring wind power to Delaware, they set a timetable of sixty days for the negotiations. I don’t know anyone who expects the talks to reach a successful conclusion when the sixty days is up on Saturday. The reason for this expected lack of progress is simple: DPL has stated publicly that it doesn’t want to negotiate, and has appealed the PSC’s order to Superior Court.
Given Delmarva’s intransigence, what can be done to move things along? The PSC has hired Widener Law’s Lawrence Hamermesh to serve as mediator for the talks. While I’m glad the state has arranged for adult supervision, Professor Hameresh’s one public report on the negotiations was rather perfunctory:

I respectfully submit the following as a report as contemplated in paragraph 58 of the May 22, 2007 Order of the Commission and other agencies: The negotiations set in motion by the Commission and agencies' order of May 22, 2007 are continuing. Delmarva representatives have met separately and continually with representatives of Bluewater, NRG and Conectiv. While there can be no assurance that appropriate contracts will be entered into and presented as a result of the negotiation process, I am satisfied that the parties are proceeding to negotiate toward that result, bearing in mind the time limits suggested in the May 22 order.

Jeremy Firestone of the U.D. College of Marine and Earth Studies has petitioned the PSC to direct Delmarva Power to be more forthcoming in its reports on the negotiations. Professor Firestone is not unmindful of the necessity for confidentiality in the talks:
While we appreciate that the negotiating parties need a level of confidentiality in the negotiations…Delmarva’s total information blackout is significantly more than is required to maintain any necessary confidentiality, is inconsistent with the plain language and intent of Order 7199, and is not in the public interest.
Delmarva president Gary Stockbridge has previously claimed that the company’s resistance is grounded in its concerns for the interests of its ratepayers. But DPL doesn’t represent the interests of its customers; the State of Delaware does. Providing more information about the negotiation’s progress (or lack thereof) would be a useful step in seeing that the public’s interests would be heeded. If Delmarva is so intent on protecting us from wind power, the least the company could do would be to give us more detail on how it’s looking out for our interests by dragging its feet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

With no notice by the press, the NRG compliance plan states at page 3 that NRG will "mothball Units 1&2 on or before January 1, 2012."
Opps. DP&L needs another 160MW.

9:52 PM, July 16, 2007  

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