One of the hearings for the Delaware Integrated Resource Plan was Wednesday – they were Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I figured I’d get to two out of three, but then Thursday the Mesaba decision came down at 5:18 p Eastern Time, necessitating an evening of email and phone calls, and then I got carried away with celebrating and forgot to post this, and so now that it’s down to a dull roar, oh well, better late than never, here it is!!

Integrated Resource Plan Docket Site

RFP Docket Site

Public Notice – How to Submit Comments

Written comments from the public will be accepted on or before Wednesday, May 2, 2007. Written comments should be submitted to the Commission at 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Cannon Building, Suite100, Dover, Delaware 19904.


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It just sorta rolled along, first to speak about the IRP was James Black of the Clean Air Council; then Lisa Pertzoff of Delaware League of Women Voters; then John Flaherty, lobbyist for Common Cause but speaking as an individual; Richard Fleming of Delaware Nature Society; Willard Kempton of the College of Marine and Earth Studies, University of Delaware, representing himself; Karen Igou, Green Party of Delaware (perhaps speaking as an individual); Elaine Titus who had an off-topic question about relationship between Delmarva and Atlantic City Electric; Andrew Waltz, an individual; Moi; Tom “NO-YES” who works for Sam Waltz but speaking as an individual; Caleb James, an individual.

Overall, the public is clamoring for wind generation. Like the Northfield phone survey a while back, a recent study demonstrated that over 80% of the people surveyed want wind, and they want it now. What concerned me about the IRP is that there’s general confusion or lack of understanding of what Integrated Resource Planning is. Most of the Commenters were saying “approve the Bluewater Wind proposal” but that’s the Request for Proposals (RFP) docket, not the Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) docket. That’s not going to happen in the IRP. What’s needed is Comments on IRP issues like how exactly will DP&L fulfil the SOS (SOL) load? What is the generation mix? Given the statute, how much weight on the different criteria listed in HB6 (that’s all below).

Here’s the Bluewater Wind proposal everyone is so hot to trot about!

I had a chat with Peter Mandelstam about Bluewater’s role in the IRP, because what would really jar Delaware’s thinking into where it NEEDS to be is to propose a wind/gas combo. With that, the awful coal plant owned by NRG could be shut down! What’s it going to take? A little uumph and cooperation from Connectiv?

Here’s the report in the News-Journal:

Public weighs in on state’s energy plan

But a recurrent problem, rearing its ugly head on Wednesday night, is that public participation is being quashed, and those who have intervened are being forbidden to speak at the public hearings!  How ludicrous!  Here’s what the News-Journal wouldn’t report:

At the beginning of the hearing, there was some discussion about the PSC’s Hearing Examiner O’Brien’s decision that Intervenors could not comment at the public hearing opportunities, and apparently Firestone had put in his two cents worth at the unreasonableness of that decision.  Later in at the hearing, when asked by Intervenor Alan Muller to cite the authority for banning intervenors from making comments at the Public Hearing on the Integrated Resource Plan, Hearing Examiner Ruth(less) Price said, gavelling as she angrily spoke:

“I’m not citing anything. You’ve heard me, and that’s it. Intervenors will have an extensive opportunity in an evidentiary hearing to be heard…”

Funny thing was, she didn’t cite any authority for quashing public participation!  And Alan didn’t even have his gag on…


After the hearing ended, PSC Chair Arnetta McRae, who was in the audience at the time, flagged me town and wanted to know if I was up on Delaware law, if I had the background information (assuming I did not know, that I had no clue), about whichI was knowledgable enough to point out that they were opearating without rules!!! Oh well, as with Minnesota, who needs rules for utility regulation?!?!?

But it’s convoluted, the public does not understand IRP v. RFP. Deregulation was believed to have eliminated IRP, though I think that’s wishful thinking on the part of DPSC, the party line and not quite reality. HB6, which was an attempt by the Delaware legislature to mitigate the extreme cost increases of deregulation — remember how this was supposed to LOWER rates? Right, well, here’s an example of what it means to cower before that corporate lie! Politicians are feeling the heat from furious consumers, and so instituted HB6 to look at long term power contracts to stabilize rates. This only affects the Standard Offer Service customers (I think of them not as “SOS” but as the “SOL” ratepayers) who are the ones, the vast majority of ratepayers, who did not opt out of DP&L. But talk of the huge rate increases has died down, and in its place has come a massive movement for wind generation. This by far out paces al other concerns — Delaware residents want wind generation! And wind generation can best be accomplished through a thorough resource planning process. IRP is what sets the policy, IRP is what drives electric generation choices.

As to Integrated Resource Planning specifically, here’s what HB6 says:

(c)(1) DP&L is required to conduct Integrated Resource Planning. On December 1, 2006, and on the anniversary date of the first filing date of every other year thereafter (i.e., 2008, 2010 et seq.), DP&L shall file with the Commission, the Controller General, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Energy Office an Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”). In its IRP, DP&L shall systematically evaluate all available supply options during a ten (10)-year planning period in order to acquire sufficient, efficient and reliable resources over time to meet its customers’ needs at a minimal cost. The IRP shall set forth DP&L’s supply and demand forecast for the next ten (10)-year period, and shall set forth the resource mix with which DP&L proposes to meet its supply obligations for that ten-year period (i.e., Demand-Side Management Programs, long-term purchased power contracts, short-term purchased power contracts, self generation, procurement through wholesale market by RFP, spot market purchases, etc.).

1. As part of its IRP process, DP&L shall not rely exclusively on any particular resource or purchase procurement process. In its IRP, DP&L shall explore in detail all reasonable short- and long-term procurement or Demand-Side Management strategies, even if a particular strategy is ultimately not recommended by the Company. At least 30 percent of the resource mix of DP&L shall be purchases made through the regional wholesale market via a bid procurement or auction process held by DP&L. Such process shall be overseen by the Commission subject to the procurement process approved in PSC Docket #04-391 as may be modified by future Commission action.

2. In developing the IRP, DP&L may consider the economic and environmental value of:
(i) resources that utilize new or innovative baseload technologies (such as coal gasification);
(ii) resources that provide short- or long-term environmental benefits to the citizens of this State (such as renewable resources like wind and solar power);
(iii) facilities that have existing fuel and transmission infrastructure;
(iv) facilities that utilize existing brownfield or industrial sites;
(v) resources that promote fuel diversity;
(vi) resources or facilities that support or improve reliability; or
(vii) resources that encourage price stability.
The IRP must investigate all potential opportunities for a more diverse supply at the lowest reasonable cost.

3. The Commission shall have the authority to promulgate any rules and regulations it deems necessary to accomplish the development of IRPs by DP&L. Commencing in 2009, DP&L shall submit a report to the Commission, the Governor and the General Assembly detailing their progress in implementing their IRPs.

26 Del.C. § 1007(c)(1).

There’s a lot of room there for thorough inquiry and development of a truly Integrated Resource Plan. So open the process up and get to work!!!! Hear that, Delaware?

2 Responses to “Gavels away — Delaware PSC hearing on IRP”

  1. Legalectric » Blog Archive » Another outrageous ALJ Order Says:

    […] of course I’m remembering the Hearing Examiner gavelling and yelling at Alan when he had the nerve to ask for the authority for or…!   I’m remembering the ALJ’s Order that CRVC explain just exactly why their […]

  2. Nancy LaPlaca Says:

    Go Carol — and Alan. ANd thanks for the info.

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