DE Senators (GOP) urge fines for Bloom Energy

Delaware Senate Letterhead

February 24, 2020

Secretary Shawn Garvin
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
89 King’s Highway
Dover, DE 19901

Dear Secretary Garvin:

On April 22, 2019, you issued a permit that had been requested by Bloom Energy, Inc. to “rebuild” the fuel cell power stations at Red Lion and Brookside. DNREC had previously been put on notice that Bloom had likely understated the CO2 emissions cited in their permit application of October 2018 for the new fuel cells. This point was read into the record by Amy Roe at the January 13, 2019 public hearing on said application.

DNREC did not investigate this comment in its review, and a subsequent appeal by John Nichols based on substantive points that had not been addressed in the review was dismissed by the Environmental Appeals Board based on purported lack of standing.

Some of the new fuel cells are now operating at Red Lion and Brookside, and the Delaware Public Service Commission has received some actual operating data. These data show that the new fuel cells are exceeding the 700 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour (MWH) limit that was forecast. Specifically, the readings are 751.3 pounds of CO2 per MWH (one week old units at Brookside) and 768.4 pounds of CO2 per MWE (four month average old units at Red Lion).

Furthermore, data from the New York State Energy & Development Administration indicate that CO2 emissions from the new fuel cells will increase as they age, probably reaching 900 pounds of CO2 per MWH by the time they are two years old.

In your order approving the permit, it is stated that enforcement actions will be taken if permitted emissions are exceeded. Based on the foregoing, we would suggest a substantial fine (e.g., $100,000) for every day that CO2 emissions from the Bloom fuel cells exceed 700 pounds per MWH. Further, given that the burden of the Qualified Fuel Cell Provider Tariff is borne by Delmarva Power ratepayers resident in Delaware, we would suggest that the fines imposed be rebated to said ratepayers on their electric bills.

Additional fines may be in order regarding VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions, coking operations, and the undisclosed disposal of tons of hazardous solid waste. We would be glad to get some experts involved to review the details with your staff.

Sincerely,

Senator David G. Lawson 15th Senate District
Senator Anthony Delcollo 7th Senate District
Senator Brian Pettyjohn 19th Senate District
Senator David Wilson 18th Senate District
Senator Gerald W. Hocker 20th Senate District
Senator Ernesto B. Lopez 6th Senate District
Senator Bryant L. Richardson 21st Senate District

CC: John C. Carney, Governor
Kathy Jennings, Attorney General
Dallas Winslow, Chairman, Delaware Public Service Commission

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