Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Today's Wind Power News

The Public Service Commission (PSC) and other state agencies will meet on November 20 to decide whether to order that negotiations to bring wind power to Delaware continue. The deadline for comments to the PSC and other state agencies is Monday, November 12. If you write just one letter or email, it should be directed to the PSC:
Arnetta McRae, Chair
Public Service Commission
861 Silver Lake Boulevard
Cannon Building, Suite 100
Dover, DE 19904
Fax: (302) 739-4849
Email c/o Karen Nickerson:
State officials have repeatedly remarked that public comments have played, and will continue to play, an important role in their decisions. I will post contact information for all of the agencies tomorrow.
In a related development, the News Journal reported today that the federal Interior Department has issued draft rules for what it is calling
the Alternative Energy and Alternative Use Program:
In a move with direct significance for the mid-Atlantic, the U.S. Interior Department on Monday released its final proposal for regulating offshore wind turbines and other "alternative" energy projects in federally controlled waters.
Although work on detailed regulations will continue into next year, the agency plans to take applications during the next 60 days for permits to conduct offshore research on wind or other unconventional energy around the nation's Outer Continental Shelf.
Interestingly, an extremely well-informed Dartmouth undergrad in my seminar on Sunday displayed a thorough understanding of the lack of procedures for review of offshore wind farms in federal waters. He mentioned that Mike Castle had inserted a few lines into the pending House energy bill requiring the Interior Department to figure this out. I have learned from my time in government that it's very hard to get the federal government to make a decision in the absence of precedent. So this looks like a positive sign.

As for last night's presentations by Bluewater and Delmarva Power at the 7 & 40 Alliance, it seems that some in the audience were pretty well informed:
Bluewater spokesman Jim Lanard said there will be a tremendous demand in area states to buy renewable energy credits, but not nearly enough utility-size renewable energy plants to supply those credits. There's nowhere else to put such a project in Delaware, he said.
[Delmarva Power president Gary] Stockbridge repeated a common Delmarva argument: that the company could buy onshore power from Pennsylvania at a much lower cost.
But when an audience member asked Stockbridge whether Pennsylvania would be able to supply enough onshore wind power to fulfill Delmarva's state requirement, Stockbridge said he didn't know. Delmarva hasn't posed the question to Pennsylvania onshore wind energy providers, Stockbridge said.

I am continually struck by the sophistication of my fellow citizens in discussing our energy future. The more people do their homework on this, the better able we will be to have an impact on this decision.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So just how much wind energy is avaliable from PA?
http://www.awea.org/projects/pennsylvania says 179MW installed, 115 MW under construction, and 189 MW proposed. I assume that's max capacity and not average generation. Brother can you spare a couple hundred MWs?

6:58 PM, November 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really confused by what Delmarva is saying in its ad campaign - that the process ought to be opened up to all types of energy companies for bids, we shouldn't bet solely on wind, etc.

Wasn't that how Bluewater's proposal came about? Wasn't Bluewater the only company to make a pitch? Or am I too confused for my own good?

9:16 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

Apparently, Delmarva is in favor of an open, competitive process, just not this open, competitive process.

9:25 AM, November 13, 2007  

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