electricity

delaware electric cooperative

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Environmental advocates notched one win after another this legislative session as the new Democratic majority passed their top-priority legislation, including measures long opposed by Republicans who used to be in charge.

Legislators sent bills to Gov. Ralph Northam that will remake how Virginia's utilities generate electricity, remove barriers to rooftop solar, ban offshore drilling and fracking in much of the state and mandate more coal ash cleanup.

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ANNAPOLIS, MD. (AP)- Maryland would phase out the state's six remaining coal-fired plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under legislation that has bipartisan support.

Opponents who work at the plants said that this would cause the loss of hundreds of jobs and urged lawmakers to study the idea further before taking action.

Before the Senate Finance Committee hearing state Senator Chris West noted that Maryland's six coal-fired plants only operated for a total of 17 days last year.

The Republican said that electricity from coal fired plants is unsustainable.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dominion Energy says a reduction in fuel rates should save its Virginia customers an average of $6 a month later this year under a new proposal.

The state's largest electricity supplier announced Friday that a proposed fuel rate adjustment would result in roughly a 5 percent reduction in the average residential bill.

Industrial customers would see an even greater rate drop of about 10 percent.  

Don Rush

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delmarva Power is set to send refunds to more than 40,000 Delaware customers and another nearly 29,000 Maryland customers.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports the state Division of the Public Advocate announced the refunds tied to overbilling will start being issued this week. A Tuesday statement by the state agency that helps utility customers says the average refund for residential customers equals about $15. Public Advocate Drew Slater says qualified customers will see the money in their monthly bill.

Northam campaign website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Ralph Northam has issued an executive order setting a goal for Virginia to produce 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050.

The order announced Tuesday says the goal will help address climate change, a challenge that "poses potentially devastating risk to Virginia."

The order sets an intermediate goal of reaching 30% renewable energy by 2030. It also says the Commonwealth's agencies and executive branch institutions will aim to procure at least 30 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2022.

Don Rush

The wind turbine in Crisfield is not living up to the savings it was supposed to get.

City Manager Rick Pollitt told WBOC that the turbine was supposed to save the town $10-thousand a month in electrical bills.

But, he says, it just hasn’t generate as much.

He said that the wastewater treatment costs associated with the operations run $12-thousand a month.

Pollitt told the station that the savings were at low as around $2-thousand in December while in March the figure was nearly $9-thousand.

Bloom Energy

Bloom Energy has been fined $40-thousand for turning on a bank of natural gas-powered fuel cells before the state of Delaware gave it permission.

In addition the company operated the fuel cells above that which is allowed by state regulators.

The company must also pay the state around $54-hundred in recovery costs.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this is the first significant sanction against Bloom Energy by state official since the company was provided with hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives to bring the manufacturing facility to Delaware.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The attorneys general of Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia are urging the nation's biggest electric grid operator to choose a CEO who will help with "efforts to address climate change" and embrace changes needed to make clean energy programs successful.

The letter signed by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine was sent last week to a panel searching for a new CEO for PJM Interconnection.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia regulators are warning of big electric bill increases for customers of the state's largest utility.

The State Corporation Commission gave final approval Thursday to Dominion Energy's roadmap for future capital investments like power stations and grid upgrades. The commission said Dominion's plan met the minimum requirements under state law but "may significantly understate" future customer costs.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delmarva Power is asking Delaware utility regulators to approve increases in its electricity and natural gas bills.

The company's request to increase its distribution system improvement charges was to be considered Tuesday by Public Service Commission regulators.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia regulators have denied another large retailer's request to buy electricity generated by someone besides Dominion Energy, the state's largest electric monopoly.

The State Corporation Commission issued the denial Thursday. Costco had requested to aggregate its stores' total electric usage to meet the threshold needed under state law in order to buy its energy on the open market.

Costco said Dominion is charging excessive rates and could raise costs even more thanks to a 2018 state law the company helped write.

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There were more than 26-hundred power outages were reported as of this morning in northern Delaware after severe thunderstorms swept across the region last night.  

Delmarva Power says that its emergency crews also responded to a fallen wires and road hazards.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the hardest hit was the area around Delcastle Park where residents said rows of trees appeared to be chopped down along the golf course.

There were a number of road that were also closed including Newport-Gap Pike where it hits Millcreek Road.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is headlining a new coalition advocating to "uberize" the state's electric utilities by promoting competition.

Cuccinelli and groups from across the political spectrum announced Tuesday the formation of the Virginia Energy Reform Coalition, including environmental and libertarian-leaning groups.

The new coalition said it wants electric monopolies limited to just controlling transmission and distribution of electricity, and allow competition for the generation of power.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is pressing the CEO of the state's largest electric utility to "fully act" on a commitment it made last year to spend $870 million on energy efficiency programs.

Northam sent a letter Friday to Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell asking him to clarify that the company plans to spend the full amount.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest electric utility is defending its plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars less on energy efficiency than what top officials say they agreed to last year in a sweeping overhaul of electric regulation.

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Maryland is looking to boost its output of renewable energy this legislative session.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports there is a supermajority in the Maryland legislature that is likely to approve the state’s commitment.

The paper reports that when the General Assembly meet in January it is likely to approve the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act.

The measure would set a goal of 50 percent from renewables by 2030.

That would ensure that a certain amount of electricity would come from renewable energy sources.

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Next year the Georgetown area will be getting a new renewable energy plant.

CleanBay Renewables will recycle 90-thousand tons of chicken manure next year.

That will mean transporting nearly 300 tons a day.

WBOC reports that company’s press release says that the facility will generate 5 megawatts of electricity for the Delaware Electric Cooperative.

The facility will also remove phosphorous from the chicken manure after which it will be sent to farmers in the Midwest.

The plant will employ 15-to-20 workers.

Dominion Energy

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State regulators are rejecting Dominion Energy's plan to offer 100 percent renewable energy plans to its big customers, saying the electric monopoly's proposal isn't fair or reasonable.

The State Corporation Commission issued a ruling Monday saying Dominion's proposed renewable plan would give the company "extraordinary discretion" in setting prices.

The ruling is a win for third-party energy providers who are hoping to grow their share of business in Virginia.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State regulators are questioning whether a new electric utility overhaul recently approved by lawmakers may be unconstitutional.

The State Corporation Commission issued a ruling Monday raising the possibility that a new utility-backed law may unfairly disadvantage out-of-state renewable projects in violation of the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a case that makes it easier for big electric users to shop around for renewable energy.

The court upheld an earlier decision by state regulators allowing large customers to purchase 100 percent renewable energy from an independent producer without restrictions.

Dominion Energy, the state's largest electric utility, had argued that big customers who go elsewhere for power should have to give five years' notice before they could return to the utility.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia House Democrats and a handful of Republicans have forced a change in a proposed utility-backed rewrite of the state's electric regulation laws that could save customers billions.

The House voted Monday to amend the legislation over the objections of allies of Dominion Energy, the state's biggest electric monopoly and the most politically influential company in the state.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation that state regulators say could leave Virginians paying double for large-scale upgrades to the electric grid is advancing in the General Assembly.

A state House panel on Tuesday approved a bill sponsored by Del. Terry Kilgore to overhaul how electric rates are set for Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power customers.

The bill was amended from an earlier version to placate some concerns that the bill was too friendly to electric monopolies.

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Crisfield says no to rezoning for the company CleanBay Renewables to buy the Carvel Hall property on Route 413.

City Manager Rick Pollitt told the Salisbury Daily Times that the 3-to-2 vote against zoning amendment was not unexpected.

The paper reports that it was an emotional vote with a larger than normal crowd showing up for the meeting that was moved to the Crisfield High School auditorium.  

The facility would have recycled chicken manure to produce fertilizer and electricity.

The public comments expressed concern about contamination and taxes.

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Delaware Electric Cooperative has restored power to most of its members after last night’s storm put nearly 2-thousand homes in the dark.

WBOC reports that they worked all night to do so even as the storm damaged several of the buildings at the cooperative’s headquarters.

The structures held electrical equipment.

Two trailers were also reported to have been blown over.

No injuries were reported.

Dominion Energy website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Energy overcharged some of its commercial customers by not properly reading their meters, and the electric utility says it doesn't know how far back the problem may go.

The company recently filed a motion with state regulators saying it may have overcharged 24,000 commercial customers between 2013 and 2016 because Dominion's meter readers were not resetting meters each month to track peak demand. Commercial customers are charged monthly both based on how much electricity they use and their highest demand for electricity.

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It’s getting hot.

But PJM Interconnection which is responsible for the electric grid in more than a dozen states says don’t worry they will be able to handle power demands this summer.

During a news conference at their headquarters in Norristown, Pennsylvania the company which serves 65 million people said they expect a peak demand of 153-thousand megawatts of electricity this summer.

That’s just above the nearly 152-thousand megawatts last year.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Supreme Court is set to hold a hearing on whether a law temporarily banning state regulators from adjusting a portion of electric rates is constitutional.

A group of large industrial electric customers is challenging the 2015 law, which critics have called a costly giveaway to electric monopolies Dominion Resources and Appalachian Power.

The law is costing a typical Dominion residential customer an extra $68 a year on their bill, according to one group's calculations.

nj.com

PJM has decided to move ahead with the power line project connecting the Artificial Island nuclear power plant with the Red Lion substation that will bring electricity to New Jersey and Delaware.

But the company’s board also voted to get more information on how to allocate the cost of the project.

Delaware officials complained that the state’s residents will pay for 90% of the project but only receive 10% of its benefits.

The company says Delaware customers would only get hit with 60% of the cost.

nj.com

A vote on the PJM power line project is set for this Thursday.

If approved Delaware electricity customers will be facing an extra $2 to $4 a month over the next 40 years on their bill.

The plan is to build a transmission line that would tie the Artificial Island nuclear power plant in New Jersey to a Red Lion substation.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the vote by the PJM board of directors will take place behind closed doors in Audobon, Pennsylvania.

The results will be made public afterward.

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A lawsuit has been filed in the deaths of an eight member family in Princess Anne from carbon monoxide poisoning.

In 2015 Rodney Todd and his seven children died at their home after using a generator when their electricity was turned off by Delmarva Power.

Authorities ruled their deaths an accident.

Todd’s ex-wife and mother filed suit against the power company in U.S. District Court on behalf of the family and the estate.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that they are seeking punitive damages but not amount has not been specified.

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