Friday, March 28, 2008

TommyWonk, Shirley Vandever on with Dace Saturday Morning on WILM

I and Shirley Vandever of Delaware Curmudgeon will be joining Dace Blaskovitz tomorrow on his Money and Politics show on WILM, 1450 on your AM dial. The show runs from every Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00. We'll be on at about 10:30 to give listeners a quick roundup of what's hot in the blogosphere.
Possible topics include the sad shape of the Delaware GOP, political wunderkind Mat Marshall, biker's rights, Real ID and mayber even wind power. Listen in and then get outdoors to enjoy the rest of this beautiful March weekend.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly hope you don't spout the same, tired inaccuracies about the need to cram Bluewater down Delaware ratepayers' throats rather than procuring windpower from the most cost-effective source available in PJM. You have one of the best RPS laws in the nation...why not use it????

Michael T. Hogan

10:56 AM, March 28, 2008  
Blogger Shirley Vandever said...

I look forward to meeting you, Tom !

4:41 PM, March 28, 2008  
Anonymous kavips said...

Michael,

You finally make sense at the end. Using the best RPS laws on the books to acquire our own Bluewater Wind generation capacity, is exactly where we need to go.

If any additional energy is needed, after we signed and sealed the 300MW deal with Bluewater, we can use landbased renewables to augment what wwe are already using.

If it is truly cheap as Delmarva implies, it may just be the ideal backup to a very cheap Bluewater Wind proposal, which.....as you well know by now, is cheaper for twenty five years than the cheapest bids Delmarva can get now. Our savings increases exponentially when the prices of carbon fuels ultimately increase exponentially.

Thanks for bringing up how cheap renewable power is, especially when it comes from our own shore......

Delaware, with Bluewater Wind, has the potential to become the first state to have all its power come from renewable energy sources. Glad to see you jumping on the bandwagon, Michael Hogan......

(And sorry about your eye)

8:34 PM, March 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kavips,

Have you been drinking? If Bluewater offers the best value for money to fulfill the requirements under the RPS, then good on them. What that has to do with forcing DPL to sign a contract conjured up through an entirely different, and extremely tortured, process I really don't know. And where you get the idea that Bluewater has demonstrated that it's cheaper than the alternatives I also don't know. Not even the consultants recommending the deal came to that conclusion.

Michael T. Hogan

9:20 PM, March 28, 2008  
Anonymous kavips said...

Actually Bluewater Wind does offer the best value for money to fulfill those requirements!

That is why 94% of Delawareans want it.

Not to mention the additional benefits that come from using renewable sources instead of carbon based one......

Bluewater wind is the cheapest form of energy we can acquire for the next twenty-five years.

And Delmarva won't sign on.

Which should answer your question as to why some political effort needs to be made to force Delmarva's hand.

They won't do what is best for Delaware.

As to where the evidence lies.....where have you been? For starters check out the Delaware PSC site: it is all there. Even Delmarva grudgingly admitted that Bluewater Wind deal was the best offer out there!

What consultants are you referring to, not counting those hired by Delmarva, of course? If one checks the website mentioned above, it is obvious that when all the evidence has been presented, the answer is clear cut.

Offshore wind is cheaper, cleaner, and has more subsidiary benefits than any other alternative.

And if you can't prove the opposite by now......you are never going to.

6:49 AM, March 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kavips,

You're clearly in "Bluewater land" and are not going to be convinced otherwise. But the PSC did NOT conclude that Bluewater is cheaper than all of the alternatives (the consultants I referred to are the ones retained by your beloved PSC - New Energy Opportunities et al. - who concluded that BWW is more expensive than the alternatives but, for reasons they didn't really articulate very clearly, you should do it anyway). You're still assuming that we're comparing Bluewater to fossil fueled plants, and while I can have a separate debate about whether offshore wind will be cheaper than fossil-fired generation over the next 25 years (maybe it will be, maybe it won't), what we're comparing it to here is other renewable sources, primarily onshore wind. As the PSC's consultants said, "A key question is whether the benefit of adding a large...offshore wind resource off Delaware's coast is worth the additional cost, lead time and uncertainty compared to a purchase from an out-of-state wind project." NEO offered a brief offhand comment to argue that it is worth it, but their argument is not supported, or even referenced, anywhere else in their report. As for DPL, they are legally bound by the RPS law to buy more renewable energy than BWW is offering over a timeframe comparable to what will be required for BWW to complete their project, if they ever do. And DPL's financial incentives to comply with the RPS are many times greater than BWW's financial penalties should they fail to complete their project. I don't know if DPL gives a damn about what's best for Delaware (I have a sneaking suspicion that they do, at least a little bit), but I'm sure they give a damn about what's best for their shareholders, and what's best for their shareholders is to comply with the RPS law. This isn't about DPL - they're going to buy wind power from someone in PJM - it's about whether BWW is the cheapest and lowest risk source of windpower out there, taking into consideration whatever small benefits there might be to an in-state resource vs. a resource elsewhere in PJM. But I don't know why I'm bothering working so hard to prove any of this to you. You're obviously flying blissfully untethered from any of the factual information contained in the voluminous documentation produced around this project. You seem to want your Bluewater Wind, and damn the consequences. I'm sure the investment bankers who own Bluewater appreciate your unflinching (and unthinking) support. If 94% of Delawareans favor BWW, and they would still do so knowing that BWW will cost them as much as 50% more than wind power from onshore sources elsewhere in PJM with vanishingly small in-state benefits to compensate for the difference, then good luck to you.

Michael T. Hogan

9:53 AM, March 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...here's another little tidbit from the PSC consultants' report (page 18): "Onshore wind can be produced less expensively because siting, permitting, developing and constructing onshore wind projects is easier, takes less time, is less costly and imposes less technological, construction, and execution risk. This presents less risk to the power purchaser and reduced opportunity costs due to the shorter development and construction lead times." They go on to point out that Delaware has limited (though not non-existent) good quality onshore resources in-state. Their argument for doing BWW anyway, despite this long and impressive list of disadvantages compared to onshore, out-of-state alternatives? They speculate that good onshore resources will be fully exploited over time, driving up prices for onshore wind. Guess what? If that's true, the competitive process created by your very own RPS law will reflect it, and your beloved BWW will indeed be the preferred resource. But not even NEO is willing to speculate about when, exactly, that magical moment will come to pass. Northern Europe, with far less open land than we have, took 10-15 years to reach the point where it made sense to take the enormous risks and incur the significant additional (and still unknown) costs associated with siting wind farms offshore. So what's your hurry??

Michael T. Hogan

10:04 AM, March 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got to ask...where in heaven's name did you find a statement by DPL calling the Bluewater Wind deal "the best offer out there?" Come on...admit it...you're just making that up aren't you? Wishful thinking perhaps?

Michael T. Hogan

11:22 AM, March 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..."knowing that BWW will cost them as much as 50% more than wind power from onshore sources elsewhere in PJM ...."

Hogan, what is the source of your 50% figure, DP&L? It seems so!

""A key question is whether the benefit of adding a large ... offshore wind resource off Delaware's coast is worth the additional cost, lead time and uncertainty compared to a purchase from an out-of-state wind project.""

You know well that the construction costs for off shore wind will be borne by BWW, not a penny by DE. So why pull this quote out of context?

It is easy to predict that not only will fossil fuels continue to increase in price, as will on shore wind as it becomes increasingly scarce due to the renewable energy laws kicking in, whereas BWW winds costs are fixed for 25 years, with a mere 2.5% per year added to account for inflation.

How can you not see that BWW is bound to be a bargain for most Delaware ratepayers, unless you represent the interests of DP&L which it sounds like you do? Do you?

Perry Hood

10:32 AM, March 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perry,

I'm probably wasting my breath here, but so be it. I represent no one's interests but my own - as an industry professional who is offended - deeply offended, in fact - when one of my fellow developers seeks knowingly to fleece well-intentioned supporters by misrepresenting the benefits of his proposal. As for the source of my cost information, I hardly need to rely on DPL estimates, of which I was not aware in any case. I spent three years as a senior executive with the largest British retail electricity supplier, and as such we were the largest developer of both onshore and offshore wind farms in the UK, in order to meet our Renewables Obligations. I've also studied the Danish and German wind experiences, onshore and offshore, as part of research I'm doing at MIT. If there's one thing everyone in this industry agrees on, it's that offshore wind will cost AT LEAST 50% more than onshore wind (information from the Danish projects so far is that it may actually be more than that). As for who will bear the construction cost, I cannot quite believe that I understand you correctly, since you can't possibly think that BWW will "bear" the construction costs without being paid by Delaware ratepayers to do so. Or are you so incredibly naive that you believe they will do so? BWW's price, at 14 cents plus the benefits of the PTC, escalated at 2.5% per year from 2007, reflects what they believe today will be the construction cost; the contract gives them every opportunity to force a renegotiation later if the construction costs come in higher than they expect, with a mere pittance of a financial penalty (compared to the value of the deal to them) for abandoning the project if they wish to do so. Onshore wind farms are quite happy to lock in prices for 15 to 20 years and do so routinely. Not a single consultant, including the consultants retained by the PSC, have concluded that BWW will be a "bargain" for most Delaware ratepayers; at best they've concluded that it might represent an expensive but potentially beneficial insurance policy against fuel price volatility. But even then they acknowledge that the same insurance is available at lower cost and lower risk from onshore wind farms. The concern about future price increases for onshore wind is just that - in the future. It is not a current concern and will not be so for quite a few years. But you don't want to know any of that, do you? All you want to know is that the slavish devotion you've paid to the investment bankers who own BWW has not been misplaced. Sorry, Perry, I can't help you there.

Michael T. Hogan

1:59 PM, March 30, 2008  

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