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Wind farm deal could mean higher electric bills

Delmarva Power’s deal with Bluewater Wind to build a wind farm off the coast of Rehoboth Beach could mean higher electric bills for customers.

The company said bills will probably increase anywhere from $3 to $4 each month, though the increases will not kick in for several years. That increase is smaller than the original proposal that could have meant increases of $20 per month for customers, Delmarva Power’s Gary Stockbridge said.

News of the increase received mixed reaction from Delmarva Power customers. Many want the wind farm and support the idea of renewable energy but would rather the company pick up the bill.

“If the company pays for it, I think they’re going to pass those costs along anyway,” said Art Hehn. “I think we’re eventually going to end up paying for it.”

The increase is not surprising to Ellen Herd.

“I know that’s expensive but we have to pay for it somehow,” Herd said. She said the nation needs to start thinking about methods of cleaner energy.

Construction on about 65 wind turbines is expected to begin in several years. The turbines would be about 12 miles off the coast of the beach. The deal between the two companies comes after years of debate and failing to reach a compromise.

Parts of Monday’s deal still need approval from the state legislature and several state agencies.

Reported by Michael Lopardi

WBOC-TV 16

25 June 2008