Petition drive seeks to take  Bloom off  Delaware grid


Good morning,

News of Bloom Energy’s stock offering is again focusing attention media attention on the deal between the northern California company and the State of Delaware

Now, a long-time critic of all things Bloom, Lindsay Leveen has launched a petition drive from Bloom ’s bay area backyard seeking to overturn the agreement that feeds power from its fuel cells into the Delaware grid. Delmarva Power customers foot the added cost.

The deal was approved by the General Assembly as the state was battling a deep recession and looking for answers to the loss of two plants.

Leveen, a chemical engineer by background says the deal is costing Delmarva customers $100,000 a day. The frequency of Leveen’s emails has intensified since the stock offering and the News Journal seems to be jumping in with its share of coverage.

WDEL talk show host Rick Jensen, also a critic of Bloom, announced the petition drive on his afternoon radio show late last week and sent a note out to the news media and blogging community to promote the cause.

The Caesar Rodney Institute, a Delaware-based public policy group that has tangled with the state and Bloom, is also among its backers.

The Bloom deal Leveenwants to overturn was struck with the state in return for the company putting a site on the University of Delaware STAR campus and employing 900 or so people.

Bloom has fallen far short of the job target and made a payment to the state under the terms of the agreement.

How the agreement could be scrubbed remains open to question. It is likely that litigation would ensue in a regulatory thicket that includes the Delaware Public Service Commission.

The petitionas of this writing had garnered only 257 signatures.

As for Bloom, despite the sizable losses shown in its first earnings report, the company’s stock price has increased from the offering price of $15 to $23.50 after rising as high as $27.

Tomorrow, I’ll look at another figure from the Bloom era, auto entrepreneur Henrik Fisker and his (sort of) return. – Doug Rainey, publisher.

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