Tuesday, October 30, 2007

TommyWonk Back on WDEL to Talk Wind Power

The Public Service Commission staff report gives us plenty to discuss. I'll be back on WDEL (1150 AM) this evening at 5:24 to talk it through with Allan Loudell.
As the News Journal reports,
some don't want to discuss it any further:
The report came as a relief to opponents of the project, including Sen. Harris McDowell III, D-Wilmington.
"This is pretty much a nail in the coffin," he said.
Others think there's still plenty to talk about:
[Bluewater Wind spokesman Jim] Lanard said that statement shows the PSC staff still believes there can be a place at the table for Bluewater and its project.
"We're disappointed with this report, but we appreciate the PSC staff's offer to continue the dialogue," he said.
Jeremy Firestone, assistant professor of marine policy at the University of Delaware, said the PSC staff should not have been surprised the price of the wind farm went up when it asked Bluewater to cut its size.
Firestone suggested the state agencies have known the estimated costs of offshore wind power for months, and previously found them acceptable. A cap on commodity and currency escalators could help share the risk between ratepayers and Bluewater, he said.
Negotiations of this complexity involve prices and risk allocation. The commodity risks cited in the report can be managed and hedged. The long term rise in energy costs over the next 30 years cannot be hedged except by building energy sources that aren't subject to increases in fuel costs.
At least some in the state aren't closing the door on wind power:
Phillip Cherry, a policy manager at the Department of Natural Resources and Control, said he could not comment yet on the report, but added that the debate was just beginning.
"I'm anxious to hear what the public has to say about the report. I do think that the public's opinion will be important in this case."
Can the numbers be made to work? I don't know. That's what negotiations are for. It's in the public interest that negotiations continue.

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