Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Delmarva Power Truth Squad, Part 5

Just as soon as we put up radio spots rebutting Delmarva Power's claim that offshore wind energy from Bluewater Wind would raise our electric rates by 30 to 40 percent, the company runs another radio spot saying the additional cost would be $50 million a year. It's actually the same scary number Delmarva Power has been pushing all year: $50 million a year = $22 a month per household = 30 to 40 percent.
As I have written before, these scary numbers bear little resemblance to the findings of the Public Service Commission, and don't have much to do with the power purchase agreement now on the table.
Once again, Delmarva Power is ar
guing that we should reject a price that isn't reflected in the deal that was negotiated.
Delmarva Power trotted out a new slogan in the ad, the Zen-like, "Wind is wind." The company wants us to believe that onshore wind power from out of state would be just as good.
But there's a reason why Bluewater Wind wants to erect its turbines offshore; the wind blows stronger and steadier there than on any onshore site within hundreds of miles of Delaware.
Delmarva Power hasn't come up with any new arguments for rejecting offshore wind; it just keeps repeating them over and over.
This post is part of an ongoing series. See part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom -

Nicely done!

I think that the intensity of Delmarva's recent PR push in a way is a good sign because it shows that they are worried to the point of panic.

By the way, I just came across an interesting tidbit on The Oil Drum website that might be useful to work into some of your pro-wind arguments.

According to the Energy Information Agency, Delaware is practically at the top of net electricity importers in the nation. The ratio of its electricity shortfall to electricity use is 43.9 percent. Only Idaho and D.C import a higher percentage of their electricity.

D.C. is a city, so it would be natural for it to import electricity from the surrounding area, while Idaho probably imports a good chunk of hydroelectric power from neighboring Washington. But what's Delaware's excuse?

Just as it's unhealthy for the US to be dependent on other countries for its oil, so is in unhealthy for Delaware to continue being dependent on other states for electricity. Bluewater's wind farm would decrease this dependency, while Delmarva's proposal to buy out-of-state wind power will only increase increase it.

1:24 PM, May 07, 2008  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

That's a very interesting piece of information, and good justification for sticking with HB 6, which mandates the development of Delaware based energy.

1:29 PM, May 07, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom - I have been wondering what, if any, benefit there might be off-shore v. on-shore with regards to land use? There are a number of issues that I see.

Land isn't cheap - 0.5 - 1 acre per turbine adds up ($100K/acre)

NIMBY concerns - We see this in that PA project that is being held up.

Transportation costs - resistance will suck up a portion of the electricity before it would get to us from VA or MD.

Off shore seems like it dominates on all of these points, not to mention that there would likely be all sorts of tax breaks that would be required to make a land-based solution feasible.

4:25 PM, May 08, 2008  

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