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Power company pushes back on wind mandate  

Delmarva Power filed an appeal of a ruling compelling it to negotiate with three energy suppliers, including a wind-power provider, indicating the utility is still balking at state government guidance on how many kilowatts it needs to generate.

A company spokesman announced that the notice of appeal was filed on June 20.

The appeal comes after Delmarva Power was ordered on May 22 by the Delaware Public Service Commission and three other state agencies to negotiate with Bluewater Wind LLC for additional energy supply.

Bluewater Wind was, according to the order, to be a primary supplier for the energy contracts, with a windfarm to be built off the Delaware resort coast. The wind company’s proposal has local backing in Sussex County, with the mayors of Lewes, Dewey and Rehoboth saying the turbines should be built.

Delmarva Power was also to negotiate with NRG Energy, who wanted to build a cleaner coal plant, and Conectiv Energy Supply Inc., who wanted to add a natural gas facility, as supplementary providers to backup the windfarm.

According to Delmarva Power representatives, the companies have been engaged in negotiations as ordered.

The appeal was filed, according to them, to retain the company’s right to legally challenge any decisions resulting in Delmarva Power customers having to pay for expensive purchased power on a long-term basis.

“The intent of the legislation enacted by the General Assembly last year which resulted in these negotiations was to lower, not increase customer bills,” Kirk Emge, Delmarva Power’s general counsel said.

The process that led to the PSC and others’ ruling began last year, when the General Assembly passed a bill requiring Delmarva Power to explore additional energy supply options.

Delmarva Power representatives repeatedly, throughout the process, requested that all the bids be thrown out.

They stated that the contracts proposed were for longer commitments than Delmarva Power wanted and that proposed outputs were higher than what is needed.

Conectiv recently petitioned for a rehearing and reconsideration of the PSC and others’ ruling for the hybrid approach.

According to Conectiv’s petition, the company heads disagree with the hybrid approach ruling, saying that it was not part of any project bid and was not was not properly held up for public scrutiny.

To view Conectiv’s petition, various responses to it and many other documents relating to the entire energy bid process, go to the PSC website at http://depsc.delaware.gov/irp.shtml.

By Daniel Divilio
Staff Writer

The Daily Times

21 June 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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