Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Maryland & Virginia Utilities Get Green Lights

The Virginia State Corporation approved on March 31, 2008 Dominion Virginia Power's plan to build a $1.8 billion 585-megawatt coal-burning power plant in Wise County, Virginia. Dominion has 2.3 million customers in the state. The commission designated the plant as a "conventional coal facility" instead of one that is "carbon capture compatible." The plant must still be approved by the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board. The plant was named "The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center and the target date for operation is 2012. (The Washington Post)

The Maryland Public Service Commission has found 'no evidence' that Baltimore Gas and Electric and its parent company, Constellation Energy, colluded to charge higher prices in purchasing electricity for 1.1 million customers it served in 2005-06. Since electricity deregulation in 1996 electricity prices have been set in auctions held by utilities, which buy power from unregulated suppliers. The 2005-06 auction was the first since the rate caps that followed deregulation were removed. It resulted in a 72 percent increase in electric bills for BGE customers. Of course the deregulation was flawed because it kept caps on retail rates while releasing caps on wholesale rates. The investigation was to find out whether the auction was rigged because BGE paid much more for power than the cost to produce it and bought most of its electricity from its corporate parent. Hmmmm. (The Washington Post)

No comments: