Delmarva Power has entered into long-term contracts with an Annapolis-based onshore wind provider. The power company said the deal will help meet its renewable energy goals in Delaware and bring wind energy to Delawareans at a lower cost than the proposed offshore Bluewater Wind farm.
Two 20-year contracts will provide Delmarva Power with 100 megawatts of power. Delmarva Power president Gary Stockbridge said, “These contracts demonstrate that, with land-based wind power, we can obtain clean, renewable energy for our Delaware customers at extremely competitive prices and deliver it to them in the next 18 months.”
Service from these contracts will begin in 2010. The power company announced earlier this year that it was pursuing onshore wind power, saying the renewable energy could be purchased for its customers at half the cost of wind power generated by the proposed Bluewater Wind project.
Delmarva Power spokeswoman Bridget Shelton said, “The contracts we’re pursuing will meet Delaware clean energy requirements that 20 percent of the supply must come from renewable sources by 2019.”
Shelton said the company will announce an additional contract this month that will get the company to the goal of 20 percent from renewables. She said Delmarva Power will continue to look at other opportunities to go beyond the state’s renewable energy requirement. Delmarva Power has said the Bluewater Wind project would unfairly raise electricity rates to its standard-offer-service customers.
The legislature passed House Bill 6, the legislation that led to the bidding process from which Bluewater Wind was selected, after rates to Delmarva Power’s standard-offer-service customers went up 60 percent. That bill called for in-state power generation to create stable electricity prices to those customers.
University of Delaware professor Jeremy Firestone, who has actively followed the House Bill 6 process, said he could not analyze the contracts nor compare it to Bluewater Wind’s offer because they had not been made public. Bluewater Wind spokesman Jim Lanard said, “Bluewater Wind does not oppose the onshore wind contracts Delmarva Power announced recently.
“Those contracts, however, should not interfere with the contract Delmarva Power negotiated with Bluewater Wind for in-state generation.”
Bluewater Wind bid to build a 150-turbine wind farm off Rehoboth Beach. Representatives of four state agencies tabled a vote on a proposed contract between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power in December.
The controller general, one of those representatives, said he could not vote to support the project because legislators had concerns over the cost of the project.
By Leah Hoenen
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