Delmarva Power Rate Payers & Delaware Citizens v. Bloom Energy & Friends – Round Two

Please read the following from David Stevenson, CRI’s Director for Energy Competitiveness:

In August 2011 the Public Service commission approved PSC Docket No. 11-362 providing for Delmarva Power to purchase electrical power to be supplied by the Bloom Project Company, a privately held company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, from their proprietary solid state fuel cells. Bloom’s fuel cell units are to be assembled on the site of the former Chrysler automobile assembly plant, located in Newark and owned by the University of Delaware. The power supply commitment spans 21 years with projected revenue from electric ratepayers of approximately $1.1Billion.

Caesar Rodney Institute was the only intervener at the public service commission hearing requesting denial of the new rate tariff, arguing that it would increase the cost of power to Delmarva’s customers by up to $35 Million a year over the life of the contract versus power from conventional sources.  Delmarva’s customers will be billed a $2 Million premium in the second half of this year for fuel cell power from just 10% of the proposed project.  Ratepayers will also pay $17.5 Million for infrastructure upgrades needed to support the entire fuel cell project. In addition, Delmarva ratepayers will pay a $19 Million premium this year for other “green” programs such as wind and solar energy credits, regional cap and trade permits, and Green Energy Fund grants.  These expenses are not shown separately on Delmarva Power electric bills.

Under the terms of the above Docket approval, Diamond State Generation Partners, LLC, a Bloom Energy affiliate, plans to install 235 Bloom Energy solid oxide fuel cells requiring 9 – 12 acres of land at Delmarva’s Red Lion Energy Center, 1592 River Road in New Castle and located within the protected Coastal Zone area. While the sub-station land use by Delmarva would be prohibited today, it was built before the restrictive zoning law was passed and enjoys “grandfather” status.

On April 30, 2012 Diamond State Generation was granted a permit by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources to locate its fuel cells on the Delmarva site. On May 15, 2012 John Nichols, a citizen activist and Delmarva customer filed an appeal to the issuance of the permit with the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board (CZICB) on the grounds that it was a prohibited use under the CZ statute. Diamond State Generation then filed a Motion to Dismiss Mr. Nichols appeal claiming Mr. Nichols did not have standing (the right) to file an appeal. The motion to dismiss will be decided at the public hearing at 9:30 AM, June 13, 2012 at Del Tech’s Dover campus before the members of the CZICB. ( All members of the CZICB are appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the State Senate and is currently chaired by Richard Legatski.

Caesar Rodney Institute will provide two expert witnesses supporting Mr. Nichols’ appeal.  In addition, Lindsay Leveen, an expert in thermodynamics will provide an analysis of Bloom’s fuel cell operating characteristics.  His study of the Coastal Zone application submitted by Diamond State Generation Partners, LLC (Bloom Energy) was   funded by CRI.

CRI has consistently maintained that electrical power supplied from high cost “renewable” sources such as these ‘Bloom Boxes’ is a “job killer” for the state.To this end CRI continues its efforts to inform the public of the facts and explore other options to prevent the Bloom Energy project from proceeding.

This is a very important meeting. All of Delmarva’s customers have a vital stake in the outcome as does every Delaware citizen concerned about the environment so it is absolutely important you attend.

David A. Stevenson

Director, Center for Energy Competitiveness

If you plan on being there, please reply to this post and say you’ll come!

Also, please consider helping CRI out with a tax-deductable contribution to helping us keep up the fight against those that abuse power. We know the economy is rough, and you have other places you are trying to help out, but we are facing a multi-billion dollar entity with the best corporate lawyers money can buy. You can send a check to:

Caesar Rodney Institute

PO Box 795

Dover, DE 19903

or log onto the website and make a secure donation online.

or call us at (302) 734-2700 and let us know you are available to help us sound the alarm to victory!

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