Bluewater Wind LLC has nothing to hide – so says a company representative and an energy expert.
Thomas P. McGonigle, an attorney representing Bluewater, asked in a letter to Arnetta McRae, the chair of the state’s Public Service Commission, that Bluewater not be required to disclose some information to the public regarding a key vendor.
The letter stated that Vestas Wind Systems A/S, which would build turbines for Bluewater, had some concerns about company information being publicly disclosed.
“Vestas has strong objections to the release of certain aspects of this information and has now invoked its Non-Disclosure Agreement with Bluewater,” McGonigle said in the letter.
According to McGonigle’s letter, the PSC had previously decided that any “documents properly subject to a Non-Disclosure Agreement are confidential and not subject to disclosure.”
According to Bluewater spokesperson Jim Lanard, the company’s request was granted by the Public Service Commission on April 3.
Bluewater has proposed a 200-turbine wind farm to be built along Delaware’s resort coastline. It was one of three bids put to Delmarva Power in an effort to bolster Delaware’s power supply.
Vestas is a Danish company which has exclusively focused on wind power since 1987. The company first began producing wind turbines in 1979. Now, they handle all aspects of wind turbines, development, production, sales and maintenance.
The offshore wind farm, along with NRG’s proposed cleaner coal plant and Conectiv’s plan for a natural gas facility, is under review by the PSC and three other state agencies.
Lanard clarified that while the request came from Bluewater representatives, it was really at the behest of Vestas.
“Vestas is raising the issue relating to its business relationships to other customers,” Lanard said.
According to University of Delaware professor Jeremy Firestone, the information Vestas asked to withhold is probably rather minor – a point actually made in McGonigle’s letter.
“One final point on the larger issue of public disclosure, Bluewater has already committed to disclosing most of its bid submission and the remaining items at issue here are not particularly significant in the public debate,” McGonigle wrote in Bluewater’s request.
“Well, everyone’s holding something back,” Firestone said of the bids. Firestone said he would much rather see the emissions estimates for the NRG proposal.
According to Firestone, the request could become ammunition for the rival bidders to use against Bluewater’s proposal.
“I’m sure there’ll be at least some spin on this that Bluewater’s hiding something,” Firestone said. While many have campaigned for the windfarm to be selected, many others have campaigned against it.
Lanard maintains that Bluewater has been forthcoming with their information and he is confident that a dialogue could be had with concerned citizens to address the reason for not disclosing the Vestas information.
“Bluewater Wind has released everything it has under its control to the public,” Lanard said.
“We are very proud to have Vestas on our team,” Lanard said. “We respect Vestas’ concerns related to the Non-Disclosure Agreement.”
Bluewater Wind’s request, and any other public information regarding the bids, is available from the PSC Web site at http://depsc.delaware.gov/irp.shtml.
By Daniel Divilio
5 April 2007
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