The state will allow Bluewater Wind to submit a proposal to build a 600 megawatt wind farm several miles off Delaware’s ocean shore.
Several companies are expected to submit bids to the Public Service Commission by Friday to provide 400 megawatts of electricity to Delmarva Power on a long-term basis. It’s an effort to stabilize the energy market after the state deregulated the energy industry in May, leading to a 54 percent increase in electricity rates for residential customers last spring.
After reviewing a draft of the proposal, Delmarva told Bluewater it had the potential to provide more power than Delmarva needed at various times, and it did not comply with state guidelines.
Bluewater said it needed to build big to make the project economically feasible. On days when the wind is light, it might take all of its turbines to generate the 400 megawatts specified, the company argued.
Bluewater appealed to the commission Tuesday in Dover. The commission, and a representative of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, unanimously instructed the company to go ahead with its submission.
“They definitely wanted an opportunity to see that bid and be able to compare it, and make sure it complied. But they weren’t committing to that,” said Bruce Burcat, commission executive director.
Other companies that will submit bids include NRG, which is offering to add a coal gasification facility that offers an additional 580 megawatts of electricity to its Indian River plant, and Conectiv Energy, which is seeking to build a 360-megawatt plant, or a smaller 180-megawatt plant, in an undisclosed location.
“Bluewater Wind is delighted that the citizens of Delaware will have the opportunity to have an offshore wind park be considered as one of the new power generation sources required by state law,” said Bluewater spokesman Jim Lanard.
Delmarva spokesman Tim Brown said Delmarva will cooperate with the commission.
“We just want to move forward and get the best decision in the best interest of customers,” he said.
By Aaron Nathans, The News Journal
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