Shooting the breeze could take on a whole new meaning for Delaware lawmakers when they convene Tuesday for this year’s legislative session.
The fate of a proposal to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm off the Delaware coast could rest with the legislature, after representatives of four state agencies last month postponed a final decision on the project.
“It’s going to be one of the most important decisions we make for the state of Delaware,” said House Speaker Terry Spence, R-New Castle.
The postponement by the four agencies was prompted by some lawmakers’ concerns about the estimated $1.6 billion cost of the project and the higher rates it would mean for utility customers in Delaware.
Supporters say it will provide a clean, sustainable source of energy for decades at a relatively small rate premium for Delmarva Power customers. Opponents dispute the figures used by project supporters and argue the state should look at cheaper alternatives for renewable energy, or at least explore spreading the cost of an offshore wind farm beyond Delmarva Power residential customers.
Senate President Pro Tem Thurman Adams doesn’t expect supporters of the wind farm to waste any time trying to win over skeptical lawmakers.
“As soon as we get back in, I think you’ll see them buttonholing legislators and trying to provide some of the answers we’re seeking,” said Adams, D-Bridgeville.
By Randall Chase
Associated Press Writer
6 January 2008
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