Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Delmarva Power Truth Squad, Part 2

The portion of Delmarva Power's website devoted to "educating" the public on renewable energy includes this whopper from Gary Stockbridge's letter to the Public Service Commission (PSC) dated January 7, 2008:
By the year 2019, no less than 20 percent of Delmarva Power’s supply of electricity for its customers will have to come from clean renewable resources. Committing to this project would preclude the company from benefiting from other lower-cost green alternatives for 25 years.
First, this of course assumes what Delmarva Power wants us to believe: that the wind farm would cost more than electricity produced from fossil fuels. This assertion, of course, is true only if the cost of natural gas goes down significantly over the next several years.
But there's another assumption in Stockbridge's letter that needs to be challenged. Is there any impediment to Delmarva Power buying more than 20 percent of its power from renewable sources? The answer is no.
I've read the legislation setting the renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS), and found nothing that establishes a ceiling on the amount of renewable energy that Delmarva can or should buy. The assertion that the Bluewater Wind project "
would preclude the company from benefiting from other lower-cost green alternatives for 25 years" simply isn't true.
In the same letter, Stockbridge writes:
Our goal is to develop an affordable portfolio of green energy supply assets that fulfills the goals of House Bill 6 and also achieves the goals of the RPS legislation, making Delaware a leading state in the use of green energy.
Delmarva Power has been fighting the implementation of HB 6 for a year, and had filed a lawsuit to prevent negotiations from going forward. That lawsuit is sitting in a drawer in a judge's office, while the company tries to get the General Assembly to kill the Bluewater Wind project.
Delmarva Power is expected to try to offer proposals for out of state onshore wind as an alternative to the wind farm agreement negotiated under the authority of HB 6.
Let's be clear about this: When the company talks about scrapping the RFP docket and using the IRP docket to seek bids for renewable energy from out of state, it is a repudiation of the process established under HB 6. Whether through a lawsuit, or through its allies in Leg Hall, Delmarva Power is determined to prevent the implementation of HB 6.

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