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….. and now Steve Newton of Delaware Libertarian is bowing out….

Forgive me for getting some out of order, but his name now goes up on the wall next to those of Dana Garrett, Mike Matthews, Jason Scott, Shirley Vandever, Dave Burris.

All gone, leaving only these few greats are still left: Nancy, Tommywonk, Kilroy, LiberalGeek, Pandora, David Anderson, & Hube.

The era over which these giants roamed was between the elections of 06 and 08. Some started earlier, but these few individuals were the only source of information during that time stamp.

Today, the News Journal has lost its paternalistic viewpoint touting the union of construction labor and developers formerly known as the Delaware Way, and is actually reporting news ahead of bloggers for a change. Likewise today, WDEL has both on its morning show with Al Mascitti and afternoon show with Rick Jensen, steered discussion away from the likes of (who?) Sean Hannity… and Al Loudell has kept us abreast of local politics in ways unheard of before bloggers began typing in their briefs…

So in a way, since these bloggers were successful back then, today they are not as vital as they once were… Many saw their blogs as the only way to get the truth past the News Journal censors, those higher ups who would not publish any truth that showed an elected official in bad light….

Those studying this phenomena will see that there was much agreement between bloggers on both sides of the aisle… It was very rare for this group to be divisive over the prime issues of this state’s business.. All of them were for Atkins removal. All of them were for beginning offshore wind in Delaware, … All of them were for the slowdown of work force housing… all of them were for the betterment of Delaware’s educational opportunities…

Of course we quibbled on who would become the next president, but that is to be expected… No family lives without arguing at least once…

There were rises and falls among each giant’s influence… But at the core of each individual was the feeling that each had a unique insight into the current problem staring us down, and wrote about it with an urgency that turned out usually to be correct… And usually, if agreement was not forthcoming by the first comment, by the end of the comment thread, some form of agreement among the blogger’s roundtable, was visible…

As politicians came to realize the News Journal wasn’t changing, they began contributing to these giant’s pages, giving substance in ways unheard of among those writing for the Community Board of the News Journal… Reading the blogs gave us a real time insight into the workings of our state government in Dover……

But it was the wind controversy that elevated the giants to their current stature… Only the blogs could get the message out that Delmarva was incredibly concerned about losing control of their monopoly, and that wind power for Delaware would by offering competition, lower our energy prices. And they did, so well, that the entire legislature at the end of their 2007 session, voted unanimously to approve of the landmark agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power….

Some of us think that they, shaking in their boots, didn’t dare vote otherwise… For bloggers have long memories as well as does the public….

But these giants among men, did more than just push wind. They publicized the eminent domain controversy. They scoured local politics. They broke the work force housing pact apart. They clamored against Atkins, forcing him to resign. They dogged the SEU. They picked apart candidates so much that those who had flaws, couldn’t win. Dana Garrett could be heard almost weekly on WVUD.. Tommy Noyes, for a while was a weekly guest on Al Loudell’s award winning newscast. They OOGAcised the fight for open government, forcing one flustered legislator to call out for a prayer dedicated to just for the bloggers, asking for their salvation of their souls… Apparently those prayers were answered; for by their souls we have open government today….

But amongst the best, the very concept of government was debated back and forth, no doubt as it once was during the beginning of this nation during its infancy… Torture, domestic spying, gun ownership, thieving Vice Presidents, all had their day in court upon these pages….

And today, there are new names who in the years ahead might be considered to be the giants of this contemporary time zone..

Deldem, RSmitty, El “S”, Donviti, Cassandra, all came into prominence after the defining moment of passing the wind act…. As well as Sussex Green, Red Water Lily, Mourning Constitution,… all of which became big as the 2008 election season came upon us….

And from the ranks of commentators came a Sussex County Councilwomen, a candidate for a House seat, as well as a last minute candidate who took on Mr. Pam Scott, and began nailing his shoes to the floor…. Miro had a contender for once; that commentator speaks up often…

Steve Newton will be missed.

With his passing is the last of the great thinkers… Today, we have bullets fed to us… But Steve took on all other blogs, all other commentators and wrote posts about them… Steve looked at everything with fresh eyes…. Giants can do that, since they see things from way up…….

I won’t go in to praising Steve… for I’m here to call attention to the passing of a era. Perhaps those times when benevolent giants roamed our state, will be considered by us dying men and women, to be the glory times we hark back to, the second we close our eyes for their last time…..

For when you look back as what we’ve done, the word “giants” is not really a bad moniker….

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Delawind receives a state loan. John Carney, who is running for Congress, is head of Delawind. Some are putting two and two together and getting their signals crossed to say Delaware is loaning Carney money to run for Congress..

Now I disagree… and the basis on that disagreement is solely due to my prejudice in the last syllable of John Carney’s company. …… wind…. To be honest, were Republicans giving loans to a Republican, I would follow the same tack… unless that Republican too was head of a company that either dealt in bringing offshore wind power to Delaware, or improving our state’s educational system.. The two basic areas our state needs action in right now….

One of the saddest events not covered in recent times is that fact that Delaware after reaching a historic agreement to get the first offshore farm started, got melted by the Republican Depression that brought America to its knees…. Those visionaries who study numbers, KNOW offshore wind will one day line the Atlantic coast from Florida to Cape Cod. Just like visionaries in 1809 KNEW that railroads would one day connect both of America’s oceans.

Delaware cannot afford to let any other state get there first. WE MUST BE THE ONE, if we wish to have any quality of life whatsoever. We must be the one….

And with the loss of our prime sponsor, Babcock and Brown, we must look elsewhere for investors to plug into the future of the eastern seaboard… That will take money…

And that money needs to get loaned…. even if its to the only company out there that is trying to do the right thing…. Even if the head of that only company trying to do the right thing is running for Congress….

Delaware has no choice but to go offshore wind in a huge way.. We have to be first. We have to get it done. We have to do something now… It’s a damn good thing that someone is out there doing something to make it happen… We need jobs. We need to be the center of the next generation. We need the Eastern seaboard’s equivalent of Silicon Valley somewhere here in these three counties… We need that source of revenue.

Otherwise we will have no choice but legalise prostitution, just so we can tax it for much needed revenue…..

There's no Ampersand Between Mineral and Mining!
Photo courtesy of Mars Candies and Sugarstand,

The Interior Department Division of Mining and Minerals, the department given charge of Federally regulating alternative energy sources off the Continental Shelf, released their regulations just minutes before the Delaware PSC met to determine the outcome of Bluewater Wind.

Announced by Bluewater Wind at the meeting, and minutes later scooped on the Rick Jensen show, this alleviates one of the holding blocks that before the agreement transpired in Deluca’s office, would have cast doubts on Bluewater’s ability to deliver the power when scheduled.

With this announcement, that no longer is a problem…..

As we speak, energy gurus are pouring over the four hundred sixty page document,

Obviously we will hear the details little by little over a long period of time….

(As for the title and picture, I was hungry and MMS reminded me of the best candy EVER!)

At 1:00 this afternoon in the auditorium inside 861 Silver Lake Drive, the Delaware Public Service Commission met to discuss that infamous proposal hammered together in Senator Deluca’s office.

The overall theme of the meeting could be lifted from Arnette McRae’s line of ……..”its been an extrodinary journey….”  Starting back with the April passage of House Bill 06 two years ago, ending twenty-four days from now, on July 31st when the four groups meet one final time to vote to fulfill of that piece of legislation…..

It was a love fest,  with everyone loving everyone else….   Delmarva loves Bluewater…Bluewater loves Delmarva, both love the PSC, everyone loves the public, who became the heroes of the day.  Praise abounds for Deluca.  Hmm. There wasn’t any dished towards Markell, Protack, or Carney……

In Dover, another public hearing will occur on the 17th of this month.  Comments on line will remain open until July 25th.  The vote will be held on the 31st.

A couple of wrinkles came out in the hearing as well as some good news.  Wrinkle one:  the 200 MWh version does not satisfy the growing demand downstate.  It is too little and is spread over too wide a base to have any effect on adding energy to the southern part of the grid.  Also, because of this deficit, whether or not to go forward with a backup generation facility, either by NRG or Connectiv will likely cause some controversy, and possibly stall an otherwise done deal.

Hats off to WDEL who broke the story that the MMS division of the Department of Interior has officially ok’d the building of offshore wind facilities and has issued a forty page memorandum which is so new, that not even I have had time to look it over.  ( I believe it was released at 1:00 this afternoon as well)

So where do we go from here?

We need to make sure that a considerable number of people show up on July 17th to represent the overwhelming support that Delawareans exhibited throughout this “journey” in support of wind…..

We need to debate whether or not back up energy is required.

We need to smooth passage of the high voltage MAPP transmission lines which will decrease the transmission cost of exporting wind driven electricity, thereby making a larger Bluewater Wind Farm more commercially viable to other areas besides ours…

With all the pieces in place, we lastly need to push for the largest wind farm possible off of Rehoboth, supplying  DC with enough energy to eventually wean us off of carbon fuel sources.

From this little room,  the wheels have started to roll………null

It's coming....It's coming.....

WDEL got to it first.

A new law is in place allowing Bluewater Wind to move forward with an offshore wind farm.

Governor Minner signed the legislation paving the way for the wind farm, shortly after it passed the General Assembly very early Wednesday night.

In one day, 21 of 21 passed it in the Senate, 41 or 41 passed it in the House, and the ink is still drying from the governor’s pen.

Well done, all…. Well done.

It’s like this.

You have squabbled, cajoled, argued, conceded, bargained, then sealed the deal and driven your new car home….

While it sits parked in the driveway you sit in the comfort of your living room, pull out all your financial papers, pull out the car handbook, and ask yourself this question: ‘Ok, what did I just buy?”

And here is what the preliminary read through tells us:

A.) We got 200 MW instead of 300 MW.

B.) We are going to inflate REC credits three and a half times.

C ) We may get power started by 2012 instead of 2014 or 2015.

D.) Delmarva will receive roughly 20% of its electricity from the offshore wind farm instead of 30%.

E.) Somewhere close to 60 turbines will be initially built 11.5 miles off Rehoboth.

F.) Eventually the farm is expected to grow to 600 MWh, selling to outside bidders.

G.) The lower amount means a backup Connectiv generator is no longer needed in Sussex County.

H.) The savings from Bluewater Wind will be thinly spread to all of Delmarva Power’s customers.

I.) The outstanding court cases will be dropped with the signing and approval of this agreement.

J.) Rick Jensen should stick to talk radio and no longer become involved with live broadcasts.

Analysis:

A.) We will pay much more for our power than we would have paid with the current 300 MWh deal.

B.) The 3.5 REC deal means there will be less pollution taken out of the picture than with the 1 for 1 deal.

C.) Assuming a modest rise in fossil fuel cost, the earlier start date will begin saving money for Delawareans two years earlier.

D,) Twenty percent of our electrical bill will stay steady and never rise. 80% will.

E.) If Delmarva keeps the onshore wind deals it has signed, roughly 20% or our power will be onshore, 20% will be off shore, and 60% will come from other……maybe even from the 84% of Bluewater Wind being sold on the market…

F.) With no Connectiv generator being built, the two wind proposals will result in a decrease of the amount of carbon being burned for Delaware’s power…

G.) Because 200MWh will be spread thin among all Delmarva’s customers, instead of 300MWh being spread just among Delaware’s SOS customers, the savings received by each SOS customer, will be watered down considerably.

H.) Because of no outstanding court case, the process towards building can begin faster.

I.) As our automotive jobs leave the state, wind power jobs should be entering the state.

Editorial
:

With the new 200MWH deal, Delmarva SOS customers, who were on the verge of having the 300 MWh deal slip past the Senate (there were enough vote) will now have to settle for higher electric bills. Meanwhile Delmarva gets higher profits from selling higher costing energy and collecting a higher percentage of that high cost for itself…. So we will see not relief in our bills as we would have with the additional 100 MWh higher number.. Also, more fossil fuels must now be bought by Delmarva than would have been bought with the 300 MWh plan before. We are proposing to give Delmarva Power permission (by inflating the REC’s) to still burn more fossil fuels yet pay only 1/3 the amount we would have gotten for the privilege…. Whereas House Bill 6 was an attempt to assuage Delawareans fears of paying too much for energy, this deal does just the opposite.

Delaware is a small state. Therefore I guess it cannot be blamed for thinking rather small at times… Somethings never change. In our state’s past, back in the 1830’s, a group of investors got together to build one of the first railroads in this new nation…. (new technology, untested, higher cost to consumers, etc., etc) Afraid to think big with new technology, they built a railroad from New Castle to Frenchtown… Of course at that time,…travel came down from Philadelphia, crossed the land bridge to the Chesapeake, and sailed on to Baltimore… It made perfect sense at the time to build a railroad between those two points….

But it failed ten years later because it did not think big enough.. Someone else did and they chose to build a railroad directly from Philadelphia to Baltimore, and the ship traffic supplying traffic the Delaware railroad,… dried up. And that is why you never hear of the New Castle-Frenchtown Railroad today. Were it them who expanded earlier, they could have taken over the role taken by the Pennsylvanian Railroad and grown accordingly…. But.. they thought too small.

In the end, however, moving forward IS a good idea. A deal in the works is better than theory on paper. Those of us who really understood just how much money Delmarva’s customers would save on their electric bills with Bluewater Wind, are disappointed in the results. Of course anytime you get close to victory, one cannot help but dream of what life will be like once the battle is over… In this case is could have led to a return to $100 monthly electric bills again. Wouldn’t that have been nice?

But when all is said and done, in the end what really matters is NOT whether this deal is better for Bluewater Wind, or for Delmarva Power. NOR is it whether this deal is better for us…(it isn’t)

No….what really matters on the global historical scale of the universe……is whether this is a “better deal for Delaware”……And in my humble opinion, if we get a hub started in Delaware, if we get Wilmington’s port bustling again, if we get new jobs opening up for young people in this area, if we get tourists at our beaches curious to see the future of energy in their lifetimes, if we one day get a 600 MWh farm spinning its rotors off Rehoboth, even if most of the power is going somewhere else, carried by the new MAPP lines being built, if we can get some coal plants shut down, if we can phase out our Cancer Capitol of the World reputation, if we can one day pay less for our power than we do now,

Then this little starter deal is a good thing for Delaware.

And despite misgivings I might have after considering all the numerous ripple effects that this decision will have, (which otherwise would still hang in limbo until the Georgetown Court could finally decide in Delaware’s citizens favor), I weigh in and say it’s time we go forward with it.

Perhaps next year we will have enough votes to re-regulate Delmarva Power again. Regulated states pay much less for their electricity than unregulated states……quite a bit less…………

🙂

I pulled this out of the archives to make a point. Make sure you read the comments.

Negotiations continue between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva. Despite an imposed gag order of the megavolt discussion going on in DeLuca’s office , there are a a couple of kilowatts of information which have leaked out… some from one side, and some from the other…. And of course, there is some misinformation as well, as is usual in negotiations with which the public is heavily involved….

Much of the discussion centers upon whether Bluewater Wind will supply 30% of our electricity with clean, cheap, and stable prices lasting twenty five years….

Or….

Will they supply 20% of our electricity with chean, cheap, and stable prices lasting twenty five years…

Let us look at how that affects rate payers…. Let’s assume that in 5 years, our rates will have climbed as high as Hawaii’s are today…. $200 per megawatt. As most of you know by now, Bluewater Wind will provide wind generated electricity at a cheaper $105 dollar cost per megawatt.

What Delmarva will do, is average all the power they receive from different sources, and determine an average cost (cough, cough) and tack their approved 4% increase on top of that….. “carrying charges.”

Therefore we can use math to create a model which will determine how our costs will be affected by the current proposal, and how much it will cost if the reduced proposal becomes the finalized version.

With Bluewater Wind contributing thirty percent of our load, it looks like this…

30% @ $105 + 70% @ $200 = $171.50 per MWh X 4% Delmarva charge = $178.36

With Bluewater Wind contributing only 20% or our total:……..

20% @ $105 + 80% @ $200 = $181.00 per MWh X 4% Delmarva charge = $188.24

The difference is $10 per MWh. Not much, really….. Or is it?

Divided by 1000 to get our kilowatt/hour price, our two choices are 0.178 cents or 0.188 cents per every kilowatt hour we use for the next twenty five years…

The standard amount of electricity used per home for calculations of this type, is usually 1000 kilowatt/hr per month. (It simplifies calculations) But you can do these calculations using your own electric bills if you wish to determine how much your household will be paying….

So using a 1000 kilowatt/hours per month, the penny price difference comes to a rough figure of $10 per month….

I hope most of you catch the irony of this….We heard for the last eighteen months, that Delmarva Powers was looking out for its customers, by fighting a $6 increase on their monthly electric bill. But, lo and behold….they are negotiating right now with Senator Tony DeLuca to raise your bill $10 a month. (I’m shocked…Outraged….there’s gouging going on in here…. (here are your winnings, sir) Oh thank you….)

Obviously, twenty five years is a long time… If you are over 65 right now, there is a chance you may not live out the end of the contracts being signed today…. So if one takes that $10 dollars a month, and determines it will cost a customer $120 dollars a year, and $3000 over the life of the contract, then all of Delaware is going to pay (using 550,000 Delmarva customers as a base) ……………
…………
………..$1,650,000,000 or 1.65 Billion Dollars of Delaware’s income, will be sucked from all of us by this reduction of 100 MW being supplied by Bluewater Wind.

Not to belabor the obvious, but that is $1.65 billion we can’t spend at local restaurants, ..That is $1.65 billion we can’t spend at our grocery stores…. That is $1.65 billion we can not put towards our retirement. That is $1.65 billion we will not have to pay for our uncovered medical expenses…. That is $1.65 billion we can’t pay for our sewer bills, our water bills, our cable bills, or gas or propane bills, our gasoline bills, .. that is $1.65 billion we can’t pay for our credit card bills, and how many Delawareans do they employ?

So the cost may be sold to us as being small, just as a single point on our interest rate is often sold as being tiny…. But the long term effects over time, are a different story… It is not about whether or not it will cost us anymore…It is about realizing the fact that the Delawarean Senate can vote tomorrow to force the agreed PPA forward and we will then be able to invest that $1.65 billion over the next twenty five years in something productive, …instead of letting Delmarva siphon it straight up to Pepco Holdings, from whence we will see nary an economic ripple…….

There are just seven sessions left.

Both the dockets of the Senate and the House are full

It looks unlikely that the Senate will override its leadership and vote.

Now again is it time to call.

Senate Majority Leader
Senator Anthony J. DeLuca
(D) Varlano Legislative District: 11

Legislative Hall Office Outside Office
P.O. Box 1401
Dover, DE 19903

302-744-4165

It must go up for a vote…. (it still can if enough of us yell loud enough)

Many of you are familiar with the story and possibly with this year’s movie with the same title: Horton Hears A Who.

In that scenario, the tiny dust speck on which lives a whole civilization of “Who’s”, is about to be boiled alive. Only by making their existence known within the Kangaroo Court on whose decision their fate lies, will their civilization be spared. Even with everyone on the planet yelping, clanging, and gonging, only the giant elephant ears of Horton, can pick up their minuscule vibrations. Entreated by Horton, the mayor races through town to find any voice not appropriately yelling for its own salvation…..

In one room, more interested in playing with his yo yo, is one tiny ‘who”. Racing back to the megaphone, he holds the tiny tot up and gives it a big pinch….

It does the trick. Their existence is acknowledged.

The metaphorical parallels as to whether Delaware survives, prospers, or not, are somewhat scary.
So if you haven’t already done so today, put down your Yo Yo, pick up the phone to the above number….

AND SQUAWK!

Today is a hot day. It is hotter than yesterday, which was hotter than the day before.

This would be a good time to analyze real data to see how Delmarva would perform with Bluewater Wind supplying our power, against how it would perform without Bluewater Wind supplying our power.

Anyone with good eyesight and a sharp mind can go to this site to find out how much money our power is costing our supplier each hour of every day. They can see that during the hours between 2 am and 6 am, that the power actually dipped cheaper than that supplied by Bluewater Wind in its PPA…. That price (bundled) was around $105 dollars per MWh. For the other twenty hours of the day, the bought price was higher. At one point, during the afternoon, it peaked at $378 dollars per MWh…. which is a pittance when compared to $105 dollars per MWh provided by Bluewater Wind. (snark alert….It is actually $273 dollars per MWH more expensive.)

Side Note: It is important for all Delmarva customers to understand that what they pay, is an average of all these prices over a month, averaged together….. But if you clicked the link and looked at the data, you would see that unless our Public Service Commission was actively monitoring this data and imputing these calculations into a calculating apparatus….. Delmarva could charge us whatever they wanted, and who would know?…… Let us make sure that office never sees budget cuts, huh, as is part of Charlie Copeland’s cost cutting plan….

So how does Bluewater Wind play into this equation?

The more Bluewater Power that Delmarva is forced to buy, the less of the $378 dollars per MWh during peak times, will be passed on to us……

So how much would that be?

Remember the argument that wind does not blow in the summer, when power is desperately needed?

Todays data from NOAA provided at the location where the proposed wind farm will sit….directly east of Indian River inlet, approximately 11 miles out……

On this day, June 10th, 2008, winds will range between 5 to 10 KT, becoming 10 to 15 KT late…

Using a GE 3.6 MW Series Wind Turbine (one made in the USA), each turbine would generate from 6 mph to 17 mph (the equivalent range of 5 to 15 KT’s) between .4 and 3.5 MW over the day’s stretch.
Now if we want to find a base level, we take the least amount: .4MW and do our calculations with that figure….

If each turbine of the wind farm is working, the low point of our day would be a collective 40MWH if we assume a base number of 100 turbines in operating mode… remember that is our low point… For reference only, on this slow doldrum of a day, our high point would be 350 MWh of electricity, more that adequate for the 300 MWh to be provided to Delmarva according to the ironed out agreements in the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Therefore, 40 MW of energy would be provided to the grid at a cost of $105 per MWh, instead of the current zero amount we have now… If we take PJM’s entire grid’s previous peak demand’s all time high of 144,644 MW (August 2, 2006) the measly 40 MW added to the grid, is a whopping 0.002% off our peak demand for which we collectively are to pay $378 dollars a MWh for the privilege of staying cool.

I do this to show that when it comes to windpower, more is cheaper than less….Any attempt to whittle down our windfarm will increase our electric bill higher each year….

Now at a 15 KT (or 17.5 mph) winds predicted for today….the 350 MWh generated (300 MWh of which will come to us, would increase the savings factor by a power of ten, and represent 0.002% of the peak demand total…

What impact does that do for the price?

Get ready for some big numbers….

144,644 MW x $378 dollars/ MWh = $54,375,432 dollars / hour

minus 350 MW x $105 dollars/Mwh = $36,750 dollars / hour

The amount saved would be a difference in the two rates $378 versus $105 times the number of Bluewater hourly MWh which according to the PPA will be 40 MW. Bluewater wind, in the worst case scenario, on the most expensive day, will save $10,880 an hour…..not a cost, mind you…..

Every other single day of the year, for the next twenty five year life of the contract, Bluewater Wind will save us much, much, more….