The Delmarva Power/Bluewater wind deal, and the first offshore wind project in the U.S., is just about reality.  Monday the Power Purchase Agreement was signed and announced.  At that time there were some legislative tweaks, one including approval of Delmarva Power taking 3.5 Renewable Energy Credits for each “real” one, which didn’t go over real well.  Today, it all was happening at the legislature, where it passed both the House and Senate.  In the Senate, Delmarva Power toady said, on the record, that they really didn’t intend to take 3.5 credits for each one, nope, no, really, that wasn’t what they meant… uh-huh, sure, right, anything you say… so anyway, we don’t know what the actual bill is at this point, and I’ll post if I get my mitts on it.

So from the legislature, it sped over to the Governor, Ruth Ann Minner, the “Keg with Legs,” and she signed it, el pronto, and it’s on the front page of the paper already, minutes after it was signed:

Governor signs offshore wind legislation

By GINGER GIBSON • The News Journal • June 25, 2008

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed legislation today that will enable the completion of the Bluewater Wind/Delmarva Power agreement, announced earlier this week. The signing comes after both chambers of the state Legislature unanimously approved the legislation.

Senate Bill 328 was filed on the floor by Majority Leader Sen. Anthony DeLuca, D-Varlano, moments before it was considered for a vote.

Because of the speed with which it was filed and considered, it was voted upon before the specifics and wording of the bill were made available to the public.

Clarification was made on the floor of the Senate to explain the state will not decrease the amount of units in the renewable energy portfolio by approving the terms of the agreement.

Several members of the Senate spoke in favor of the legislation and recognized DeLuca for working to get the agreement between the two companies worked out.

“There were times I never thought we would get to this day,” Sen. Karen Peterson, D-Stanton, said.

While some spoke in favor of the legislation, they reminded fellow members that this measure should only be considered a first step in pursuing the use of renewable energy.

“I think with respect to renewables we have a long way to go,” Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark, said. “Our dependency on fossil fuels is harming us in many ways.”

GO BLUEWATER!!  EEEEEEEEEEEE-HA!

Yesterday, Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power announced they’d reached a deal, just signed that morning. Delaware is one step closer to having the first offshore wind project in the U.S. Can it be? Perhaps!

Bluewater PPA \”Execution Version\”

Bluewater PPA – PSC Docket 06-2410001

How did we get here? Long story… There was a “level playing field” RFP for power that would provide a stable price to the Delaware SOS Standard Offer Service (or SOL) customers suffering from the pain of deregulation. There were three proposals, one from NRG – coal gasification/IGCC, another from Bluewater Wind for offshore wind, and another from Conectiv for natural gas. When looking at the three proposals, the PSC wisely said, “We’ll have one from column A and one from column B” and ordered a wind/gas combo for dispatchable power.

Delaware PSC Order for Wind/Gas Combo

I like to think I had an impact on that, because I’m the only one I heard advocating for that wind/gas combo at a hearing or in Comments. Ahem… and what I most remember is how pissed PSC Chair Arnetta McRae was that I would just pull in to Delaware from Minnesota, show up at a PSC hearing on the RFP and tell them how you can indeed have dispatchable wind by backing it up with gas or hydro, as they are in Minnesota, and because they have gas (not hydro) in Delaware, that was what they should do, what they MUST do!  After the meeting, McRae really gave me what-for. At this point, I’ve got a lot of respect for her for taking a hard look at this, stuck in the politics of the situation, and leading Delaware to a good option — and getting harshly slapped up for that leadership. At that first hearing I went to, I also accosted Peter Mandelstam of Bluewater after the meeting, pushing the wind/gas combo, and he told me that they had their hands full with the wind RFP — true, but it’s only half the picture… The PSC staff did their homework, and issued this great report, not only rejecting coal gasification, but advocating for the wind/gas combo:

PSC Staff Review and Recommendation

A wind/gas combo in the southern part of the state made a lot of sense because it’s a peninsula, and is dependent on generation coming in from elsewhere, and a good injection of generation from the south would do the system good, and all the better if it’s wind with gas back-up. The PSC ordered the wind/gas combo, and Delmarva Power started squealing like a stuck pig. Nope, says the PSC, you gotta get to it! They were ordered by the PSC to negotiate, sort of like Xcel and Excelsior, and the results have been as productive… until recently. Every day there were reports of “we’re close” and “we’re almost there” and “oh, we’re close” and “oh, we’re almost there” yesterday:

Bluewater PPA \”Execution Version\”

Bluewater PPA – PSC Docket 06-2410001

Like, wow… maybe they’ll get there. It still has to go to the PSC, and DNREC, the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General have to sign off too (why on earth did the legislature do that, anyway? It’s as convoluted as some of the Minnesota energy legislation).

But wait… it’s not over. Bluewater said there are a couple of details they need to get through the legislature, like a legislative directive to PSC that they will do this (and a public directive to the state agencies who also must sign off per the legislation that started this whole mess), and an odd material term that the Renewable Energy Credits to Delmarva Power will be 350% of what they’d usually get. I need to spend some time with the PPA and figure that out because I’m not excited if Delmarva Power would get a free ride for a lot of its RPS requirement. Hmmmmmmmmm… Delmarva is already trying to get out of doing any DSM and doing a damn good job of it, and so now what will this mean for their renewable generation requirements? More on that later if there’s issues to note. So we’ve got a little twist, a little bit of a mixed bag, it’s not the perfect deal in my view, but I’m not the aribiter in this! From this vantage point, it probably is a perfect deal in terms of a “good deal” in family law, there’s probably issues on both sides enough to make one itch and cringe.

From the News Journal:

Offshore wind pact OK’d for Delaware

The wind part of the wind/gas combo is moving forward, the first in the U.S. offshore wind project just might be offshore of Delaware.

…  showing up at a public meeting this week.  Yup, it was about a new proposed nuclear plant in Idaho.  He was told to leave and not to hand out pamphlets.  Jeez, I guess former Mayor Terry Lundgren is giving lessons.

Check the video here:

Anti-nuclear activist arrested

Yup, it’s getting hot in here…

2008flood.org

June 17th, 2008

I heard a report that something like 1/3 of Iowa is underwater. Can it be?

Here’s an update from Paul Fried who is in the zone:

A brief note/update for friends, relatives, neighbors:
We’ve been in the Washburn/Gilbertville Iowa area since Sunday morning. My mother-in-law’s basement had about 5 feet of water. The water has receeded, we’ve swept and shoveled water and mud, carried out furniture, boxes, wet carpeting, wood doors and debris. Some family members have been working to dry documents, slides and family films. We’re power-washing, and very tired when we go to bed at night. An electrician came and restored electricity today. It may be a while before we can drink city water again, but there’s plenty of bottled water for now. People have been kind. An Iowa foodshelf truck came by to drop off water, crackers and
pop-tarts. Life is good.
- Paul

And Christine Ziebold, M.D., remember her — co-author of this report:

Ex. 2 – Price of Pollution

Here’s a photo she took down in Iowa City, where she’s living now, this is the University of Iowa Burlington Ave Power Plant, all sandbagged:

And a large part of the population of Iowa City sandbagging to save campus buildings:

Iowa’s getting organized. If you’re interested in helping, they need it all, from trucking stuff around to website & data entry to animal feeding to meal delivery to medical care to doing laundry:

www.2008flood.org

Their Animal Shelters have moved to larger facilities to serve the animals:

Cedar Rapids Emergency Animal Shelter – Kirkwood Community College

Iowa City Pet Shelter – at Johnson County Fairgrounds

From Daily Kos, a reminder of how fragile it all is, and an argument for distributed generation of all sorts, decentrailzation:

How a Midwest Flood Can Drag Down a Nation

It’s all connected. As a truckdriver, I knew how vulnerable this country is, how dependent on the I-80 link between the costs, without it, the whole country would starve.

This is another one of those “HOW STUPID CAN THEY BE” posts, based on some searching today for what various regional gasbag groups are doing across the country. I was at the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord site, looking for geographic boundaries, and I stumbled on this in the Allowances Subgroup Conference Call Materials for June 3, 2008:

Carbon Sequestration Incentive

And now, here’s where I start my rant, this one point jumping out and hitting me over the head. First, let’s be really clear here — they’re talking about IGCC – Coal Gasification:

The goal of the program is too ease financing of a risky capital intensive technology.

Then, they go into CO2 Carbon Capture and Storage:

Federal Department of Energy (or appropriate agency) takes title to and liability for long-term storage of CO2 from selected projects.

DOESN’T ANYONE ON THIS COMMITTEE HAVE THE BRAINS OF A GNAT SUFFICIENT TO THINK ABOUT “TAKES TITLE TO AND LIABILITY FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE” AND THINK OF NUCLEAR WASTE?

For a while now, I’ve been saying that IGCC is the new nuclear, it’s a technology they want to build without experience, without all the questions answered, without the promoters and developers taking responsibility for what it is they’re promoting and building, and now, this hare-brained scheme? HOW STUPID CAN THEY BE?

If you want to know what happens with nuclear waste in this type of scenario:

NSP v. DOE – 224 F3d 1361

Short version? They don’t know what to do with nuclear waste and don’t know how to store it long term. In a CO2 context, it’s no different, they don’t know what to do with it and don’t know how to store it long term. Taking title and liability for long term storage does nothing for their inability to do it! We’re still left holding the bag. Recourse? Essentially none. Can’t make them store nuclear waste which they don’t know how to do and can’t do. Can’t make them store CO2 which they don’t know how to do and can’t do. And this does exactly what for global warming and greenhouse gas emissions?

HOW STUPID CAN WE BE? ARE THEY REALLY SERIOUS IN SUGGESTING THIS? WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS ANYWAY? In Minnesota, we should be hyperaware of this issue, and this is a “Midwestern” group. WHAT LUNACY…

HAVE I MADE MY POINT?

… sigh…

Here’s the text in full:

EIX calls for the creation of an incentive program to encourage existing and new players to invest in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology.

The goal of the program is too ease financing of a risky capital intensive technology.
Improve on bonus allowance allocations, by eliminating allowance price risk.
Build on the success of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).
Federal guarantee of revenue either as cash payments or a PTC.
10 year term of payment
Reduce financing cost through accelerated depreciation
Federal Department of Energy (or appropriate agency) takes title to and liability for long-term storage of CO2 from selected projects.

Auction revenues fund payment for CO2 captured and geologically sequestered.
Program size limited to funding stream created by Bingaman–Specter CCS bonus allowances
CCS Bonus allowances monetized in auction and used to back Federal payments
Incentive payment per ton is calculated using either a:
Regional marginal emission rate at a level that makes the CCS unit competitive, from a marginal cost standpoint, with a combined cycle natural gas generator.
Reverse auction where 10 year Federal fixed price contracts are awarded to the lowest offered cost of sequestration.

To Qualify:
Project put in service before 2035.
Project designed to capture and store not less than 65% of CO2 stack emissions
Sequestration facility certified by EPA/DOE.
EPA/DOE to establish certification criteria for geological sequestration facilities.