Wind, Cheap and Clean
The other day I was thinking about Blue Water Wind, and wondering just how the negotiations were going, and I begin to become curious on what other states were currently paying for their electricity.

I wondered if there was any information that could be gleaned from comparing all the states together on a chart showing each state’s electric rates.

Thanks to the state of Kansas, I was able to access this link from the Official Energy Statistics from the US government, and there before all our eyes to see, are the rates broken down by state. Most states had the wisdom to hide this site from the public, but fortunately for us, Kansas wanted to brag a little. And well they should.

In todays world, were I to build a plant requiring the use of massive amounts of electricity, I would build in either Kansas, North Dakota, or other west north central states. Were I to choose to live in a state based on its low cost of electricity, I would choose the same.

Most curious readers have already looked at Delaware to see where it stands. They noticed, no doubt, that a huge jump occurred this past year, one no other state suffered.

Delaware jumped from 8.7 cents per kilowatt hour in 2006, to a current 11.96 cents per kilowatt hour this past February. We are all aware of the deregulation spike in electrical costs.

In real terms, what does this mean to us? First off, it means that electricity costs half as much in North Dakota, as it does in Delaware. So if I moved my imaginary industrial plant and all the jobs that went with it to North Dakota, I would pocket the difference between what I was paying here for energy and what I would pay there for electricity.

Looking at this chart causes one to shake his head: why would anyone in their right mind, want to invest in our state and bring jobs to Delaware?

There are several more interesting tidbits gleaned from this chart. Residents of this state pay 3.34 cents more per kilowatt hour than does a Delawarean industrial site. Surely Delmarva does not sell below cost to these large buyers. Basically there is then 3.34 cents per kilowatt hour that can be reduced by regulation if the PSC and the Delaware legislature so decree.

It is legal. Price limits can be set by this state. The federal government has done so several times during a national emergency. A small state like Delaware could easily turn on a dime and mandate forced regulation, if just a small, adequate amount of voter pressure was applied to just a handful of participants. Vote a few out, vote a few in.

But we may not have to come to this. To understand why, let us look at why those states in the north central plains can produce electricity at bargain rates compared to the other areas of the country.

Wind.

In 1991 a study revealed that three states, North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas, could with wind turbines supply most of our national energy needs. Now, with new advances in turbines that produce even more electricity with less wind, those same three states could supply all the energy needs for the entire United States!

These new large wind turbines produce energy at a cost of 3 cents per kilowatt hour. The newest turbines are touted to bring that cost down to 2 cents per kilowatt hour, making it the cheapest form of energy available on the planet.

This calls into question two things. One, why is Delmarva currently charging us more through deregulation, than either our neighbors pay in Pennsylvania or Maryland, (which brings up the unspoken question of where is Delmarva pocketing the difference)? And two, why are we acquiescing to only build a 250 MW facility off Delaware’s coast instead of a 600 MW one? Obviously the more electricity we have at 2 cents per kilowatt hour, the lower the cost will be for all. Not just for Delawareans, but for our neighbors in the Northeast as well. If we do not do it first, then someone else will.

It stands to reason that Delaware should go forward with the largest Wind Farm possible. Anyone arguing otherwise, on WDEL or elsewhere, must either be insulated from reality, or have someone else paying their electric bills.