Maria seems to have uncovered this first. It is the preliminary release of bids for on-shore wind. Having been caught in forcing a delay, the rage of the House Majority Leader forced Delmarva to try another tactic. At first glance their onshore wind looks a little cheaper than building offshore. That is because onshore IS currently cheaper. There is no argument there. What is important is whether on-shore will be cheaper for us during the next twenty five years. In their haste, Delmarva tips their hat to the answer.

Delmarva's Handy Dandy Windchart

From this chart several things are apparent. For one, they received bids amounting to 1679 MW’s. Two……. 625 MW’s are coming from PA and MD, and 1072 MW’s are coming from Illinois and Indiana. Three,…. there is a substantial price difference between Bluewater and the on-shore generated energy. And four,….. they can get 1697 MW’s in before Bluewater goes on line…

Here is a map from the AWEA: American Wind Energy Association showing the current capacities drawn from each state.

Map showing Wind Capacities by State

If your are astute, you can by now see some discrepancies. Indiana has zero capacity. PA and MD combined fall way short (331 MW’s) of what Delmarva tells us is bid, by almost as much as what Bluewater would provide if it were operating according to contract. Illinois and Indiana together, fall far short by 373 MW’s. And this is assuming that every tiny bit of wind power possibly produced in those states, would be reserved for us here in Delaware, courtesy of Delmarva Power.


What kind of ARM is Delmarva trying to get us to sign?

And the answer is rather obvious. They are trying to get the wind deal killed in our General Assembly over the objections of 94% of Delawareans. And their charge in the Senate is being led by these four persons, all of which leaked this news to the News Journal yesterday. Tony De Luca, Harris McDowell, Charlie Copeland, and “Desk Drawer” Adams.

This should infuriate Cathcart and Valihura all the more. Being played like fools they are…….

So lets look at what Delmarva shows us, apart from the fact that they propose far more wind power coming from land based than can possibly be generated. Let us assume that Delmarva is not on the up and up and that they are playing with figures in order to make legislators say “whoa” and not vote to order Russ Larson to sign the Bluewater Wind deal…….

If we make that assumption and allow ourselves to consider that maybe that is the total wind deal that Delmarva has, and compare that to the total wind deal that Bluewater Wind would offer us over its twenty five year span….then we can compare 300MW’s X 25 years = 7,500 MW/yr, compared to the total bids received (no one has signed anything) of 1697 MW’s, then we can see from a power utility’s perspective, they will need to produce more power from carbon, by going with onshore, instead of offshore wind………approximately 5803 MW’s worth.

Notice that 823 MW’s were bid for twenty years or longer. Hmmm. Now what was “that problem” Delmarva had with signing long term contracts?

Timetable for Delmarva Onshore Wind to Expire

If one adds these totals above , that number 1697 MW reappears. So unlike having an offshore wind farm banging 300MW consistently into the grid, the first year 2009, we will have 115MW’s, the second year 2010, we swell up to ten times the previous year, then for the next three years we split up 439MW’s or an average of 146MW’s per year.

And then what…..If Bluewater is never built, do we return back to burning fossil fuels, especially if those other states start wanting their windpower back again? Yes, if there is no wind energy to be bought, Delaware will have no other choice.

Of course what is missing from this report are the details. Is perhaps part of this bid that Delmarva will buy the energy at “dumped” cost between 3 and 5 in the morning? Meanwhile the rest of those hot summer days we will be paying through the nose for a gas turbine somewhere? My guess….. it is, and that is why the prices show that price discrepancy with Bluewater Wind.

The Bluewater Estimate is high, as one would expect on a Delmarva Web Page. The best estimate for that actual cost would be around $105 MW (not $123) which is cheaper than the $110 MW that Delmarva currently pays for its energy ……Look at what New England pays for residential electricity, which is all bought on the spot market, as would be ours if Bluewater Wind is never built.

What is important for all Delawareans to realize, is that the debate is not between which type of wind is cheaper, It is about which combination of energy sources will be best for Delawareans for the next twenty five years. There are many real advantages to building a wind farm off Rehoboth that are not in this petty conversation. Our economic future as one. Our environmental future, is another. Our reputation as being “”The First State”, should be considered as well.

Ideally having 300MW’s of offshore wind, augmented by these cheaper land based bids that Delmarva seems to have acquired, would serve Delaware’s interests best. Having onshore wind drop the already low, low price of Bluewater wind would greatly help Delawareans with getting their utility bills down to a manageable level…..If Delmarva wants to do land based wind, then let’s do both……

But doing away with Bluewater Wind’s guaranteed price for twenty five years, which is already lower than the lowest bid that Delmarva can get from any fossil fuel burning plant at this time, would be a horrendous mistake.

For when the wind did not blow in Indiana (on those windmills that, as of yet, do not yet exist), and we had to pay the high price of coal, gas, and oil to augment our power needs, (of which all three are predicted to triple their cost), we will certainly hold accountable each of those four loose cannons of Legislative Hall, who screwed us over.

And if the rest of Legislature revolts against the tyranny that these four impose, and does their job and votes to coincide with the wishes of 94% of Delawareans, we, and the world, will forever hold them up to hero status, for having the foresight, courage, and stamina, not to cave in…………………………