Public Service Commission shoots down effort to review Bloom Energy-Delmarva Power agreement

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Bloom Energy photo of Newark plant.
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The Delaware Public Service Commission has dismissed a petition from acritic of Bloom Energy to dismiss a petition to reviewthe contract to provide electricity to Delmarva Power.

The petition was filed by John Nichols of Middletown over the tariff with Bloom, which has a fuel cell plant in Newark.

As part of the agreement to bring the plant to Newark, Bloom’s fuel centers feed power into the grid to help meet Delaware’s mandate that a growing percentage of electricity has to come from clean and renewable sources.

Click here for a link to the decision.

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The PSC decision stated that the regulatory body has no authority to review the agreement, which was approved by the Delaware General Assembly.

Should the agreement be nullified, Delmarva ratepayers would be immediately responsible for paying Bloom another approximately $400 million, the decision noted.

Residential ratepayers would have to pay an approximate $700 as soon as the commission took action contrary to the tariff provisions.

The Bloom agreement has been controversial since ratepayerspay an extra $5 a month added to their electric bills, according to Nichols.

The legislation was passed as Delaware was reeling from a recession that contributed to the closing of both of the state’s auto plants. It came with employment targets for the Bloom plant.

Bloom has paid a penalty for not reaching those targets after falling 500 employees short of the goal of employing 900. However, payrolls, another benchmark in the agreement, have been higher than expected.

Nichols and the Caesar Rodney Institute public policy group have filed or have assisted in other actions related to Bloom and its agreement with Delmarva Power.

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