Three companies have filed bids to supply Delmarva Power with electricity to help satisfy the state’s long-term energy needs.
The proposals include a 600-megawatt coal plant, a 180-megawatt gas turbine plant and a 600-megawatt off-shore wind farm.
The companies filed the bids in December. The state Public Service Commission released short summaries of the three bids this week at the request of The News Journal. The bids are slightly different from previews filed with the commission several weeks earlier.
The state and Delmarva Power are expected to evaluate the bids through the end of February. The winning bidder or bidders could receive a potentially lucrative long-term contract.
The wind farm proposal was submitted by Bluewater Wind LLC, of Hoboken, N.J. The company would build 200 turbines, either 10 miles off the shore of Rehoboth Beach or 13 miles off the shore of Bethany Beach; or 182 turbines located a little more than 5 miles off an unspecified Delaware shore. Each turbine would produce 3 megawatts of electricity.
Bluewater Wind also filed proposed variations on plant sizes, the commission reported.
NRG, which operates the 784-megawatt Indian River coal plant in Millsboro, proposed adding to its plant a facility that offers an additional 600 megawatts of electricity.
NRG’s proposal would use coal gasification technology, sometimes called “clean coal.” The process turns coal into synthesis gas, allowing for toxins like sulfur to be removed. Some environmentalists argue even “clean coal” technology pollutes too much.
Conectiv Energy has proposed a “combined cycle” natural gas turbine plant of approximately 180 megawatts. Combined cycle technology turns excess heat from the turbine into steam, which it makes into additional electricity.
The site would be located on an industrially zoned brownfield area at the existing Hay Road Power Complex in Fox Point.
Delmarva Power was required to seek in-state suppliers for 400 megawatts of power under guidelines approved in October by the commission. That came after the state deregulated the energy industry and removed price caps, leading to a 54 percent rate increase for electricity to residential Delmarva Power customers this spring.
The state will compare the leading bid or bids with open market prices before it decides whether to approve them. Delmarva Power officials have estimated that a new plant could be online by 2013.
The final decision of whether to accept one or more of the bids will be made by the Public Service Commission, the Office of Management and Budget, the controller general’s office, and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
By Aaron Nathans
The News Journal
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