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April 15, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 15, 2008
 

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10 - CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, April 15 Wind Continued from page 1 purchase agreement is approved. Delmarva Power has opposed the wind farm, arguing that the price increase it would generate is unfair to its standard-offer service customers. House Bill 6 was passed following deregulation, after rates for Delmarva Power's standard-offer service customers went up 60 percent. But that same legislation, calling for reliably priced, in-state-generated electric- ity, resulted in the wind farm pro- posal. "Delmarva Power is baffled as to why House members would vote to have our customers pay twice as much as they need to for renewable energy two years after we had to explain to them another rate increase," said Delmarva Power spokesman Bill Yingling. Yingling said Delmarva Power believes the Senate will be much more careful in its consideration of the resolution. The chairman of the Senate Energy and Transit committee, Sen. Harris McDowell, D- Wilmington North, recently held hearings regarding renewable energy in the state. A draft of the report written in the wake of those hearings reportedly suggests the state disregard Bluewater's pro- posed project because it is too costly. 'Tm not interested in reading the Senate committee report. The person who chaired the meeting was critical of the project from the start. The meetings were slanted and one-sided all the way," said Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D- Rehoboth Beach, a primary spon- sor of HB 38. "I don't know how anybody thinks that report will be fair," he said. "I think a lot of people are in favor of it, but I also feel Senate leadership is also not very favor- able toward it. It will be a close vote if it comes to it," said Sen. Gary Simpson, R-Milford. Schwartzkopf said he is con- cerned about how the Senate will receive the measure. "For some - Thursday, April 17, 2008 reason, there are people in the Senate who have been try- ing to kill the Bluewater Project since Bluewater was awarded the chance to bid," SIMPSON he said. "The purpose of this resolution is to send a message to the con- troller general, 'You represent the General Assembly, not just Senate leadership, and we in the House want to move this forward,'" said Schwartzkopf. Another message of the resolution is that legislators want the wind farm issue to get a fair debate in the General Assembly. '"rhis is not one of those bills you just tuck away. It's something you need to talk about," he said. Sen. George Bunting, D- Bethany Beach, said the House had a good and lengthy debate on the resolution. "The way our process works is now the resolu- tion has to come back to our com- mittee and that committee has the ability to let the resolution out or to stop or even veto the resolution. So the committee has a lot of power as far as that is concerned," he said. It's important for the Legislature to take its time exam- ining the issue and make sure they have all the answers, Bunting said. 'Tm the coastal senator. This will go in on my watch if it's approved," he said. While legislators say they're concerned about locking Delmarva into a 25-year contract, Bunting says Delmarva Power's ratepayers will be locked in as well. "One of the things in the way this 25-year contract is set up right now is that you can't opt out. If you opt out you'll be penal- ized," he said of residential and small business customers. Booth said last week if the state supports the wind farm as good for Delmarva Power's standard- offer service customers, it should "put its money where its mouth is," and sign on to purchase the same power. Schwartzkopf was not support- ive of Booth's amendment. "The amendment is technically flawed. There are a lot of whereas clauses but no clause that says, 'Thereby we direct you to,'" he said. Simpson supports the amend- ment. "I think the amendment is a great idea. I thought his point that if wind power is good enough for the people, it's good enough for the state, is a good one," Simpson said. Rep. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, said, "I'm surprised there were several House members who FREE DEMONSTRATION Let us show you how to increase the value. security & asesthetics of your outdoor space Alignments Air Conditioners Emissions Detailing Cooper Tires Brakes Tune-ups Spray On Bed Liners 21 Point Lube Custom Exhaust Certified Mechanic On Duty DMV Inspections Customer Friendly Gift Certificates Available On Rt.9 voted against that amend- ment. They were voting against the state paying for something they are forc- ing Delmarva Power to pay HOCKER for. Why does- n't the state think it's good enough for them too? Their facilities should be included in the agree- ment," Hocker said. Simpson was also a sponsor of the resolution. He said the clause of the resolution that asks the Public Service Commission to investigate whether the Cost of the project should be spread across all Delmarva Power customers and not only the standard-offer service customers could kill the bill in the Senate. 'q'he worst thing we can do is force this contract," Hocker said. He said other states, including Florida, have oited for onshore wind power and turned away from offshore. Contact Leah Hoenen at leah @ capegazette, com. New Castle County Sussex County 302-239-5483 302-226-9700 Cape Gazette's comprehensive guide to the best Cape Region dining destinations. Give your customers the opportunity to preview : your restaurant Advertise in the Dine Out book today! 50,000 of these full color booklets will be . available at local hotels, restaurants and B & B's for May 15, 2008 distribution. The book will also be le online at DelawareBeachGuides,com 64S' 7 7 to resele Ask for Cindy. 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