• The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act and the Renewable Compliance Charge

  • The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act

     Under a Delaware law known as the "Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act" (or “REPSA”), Delmarva Power must increase the percentage of its electric supply generated from renewable energy sources each year until the year 2025, when a minimum of 25% renewable energy must be achieved.  
    In adopting REPSA as Delaware Law, the Delaware General Assembly stated as follows:

    “The General Assembly finds and declares that the benefits of electricity from renewable energy resources accrue to the public at large, and that electric suppliers and consumers share an obligation to develop a minimum level of these resources in the electricity supply portfolio of the state. These benefits include improved regional and local air quality, improved public health, increased electric supply diversity, increased protection against price volatility and supply disruption, improved transmission and distribution performance, and new economic development opportunities.”

    Delmarva Power has long supported the efforts of both Delaware and the region to reduce emissions caused by the generation of electricity, motor vehicles, and other activities.  Delmarva Power has met or exceeded Delaware’s RESPA requirements each year and has been recognized as a national leader on environmental issues.  

    RESPA compliance is achieved through three general categories of clean energy generation: (1) solar, (2) general renewable energy resources, and (3) Delaware Qualified Fuel Cells.

    1. Solar:  Solar energy (also known as “photovoltaic energy”) is electrical energy created by converting the sun’s energy to electricity.  RESPA provides that a certain minimum percentage of total RESPA compliance must come from solar energy sources.  

    2. General Renewable Energy:  In addition to solar, RESPA defines renewable energy as coming from various sources, including: wind energy, tidal and wave energy, geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy, methane capture and other resources.

    3. Delaware Qualified Fuel Cells:  In 2011, REPSA was amended to permit the use of generation from certain fuel cells to achieve REPSA compliance.  REPSA refers to these fuel cells as “Qualified Fuel Cells.”  Qualified Fuel Cells must (1) be manufactured in Delaware and (2) be capable of being powered by renewable fuels.  A company known as Bloom Energy met the requirements to be a Qualified Fuel Cell provider in Delaware by building a new fuel cell assembly plant in Newark, Delaware and building two fuel cell generation sites in Delaware.  The Qualified Fuel Cells in Delaware manufactured by Bloom Energy are currently used to meet approximately 50% of the Delaware RESPA compliance requirements.  

    The Renewable Compliance Charge

    The Renewable Compliance Charge, which appears within the Delivery Charge section of Delmarva Power’s bills, represents the cost Delmarva Power incurs in meeting the requirements of the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act (or “REPSA”).  This charge includes costs of clean energy generation discussed above: (1) solar and general renewable energy, and (2) Delaware Qualified Fuel Cells.

    1. Solar and General Renewable Energy:  The monthly costs of purchases from solar and general renewable energy sources are established annually after review and approval by the Delaware Public Service Commission. 

    2. Delaware Qualified Fuel Cells:  The monthly cost of purchases from Delaware Qualified Fuel Cells is established on a monthly basis after review and approval by the Delaware Public Service Commission.  The monthly charges per kilowatt hour for the purchase of solar, general renewable energy resources and Delaware Qualified Fuel Cells for 2014 are set forth in the table at the link below:

    http://www.delmarva.com/my-home/choices-and-rates/delaware/tariffs/

    The Benefits of Renewable and Clean Energy

    The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act (“REPSA”) recognizes that Renewable Energy brings many benefits to Delaware and its citizens.  For example, the Delaware General assembly has specifically declared:  "These benefits include improved regional and local air quality, improved public health, increased electric supply diversity, increased protection against price volatility and supply disruption, improved transmission and distribution performance, and new economic development opportunities.”  Currently, however, these benefits are not reflected in the form of a dollar amount on your Delmarva Power bill.

    The Division of Energy & Climate of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (or “DNREC”), is in the process of adopting rules through which the value of Renewable and clean energy resources will be calculated and reflected on Delmarva Power’s bills.  Once that process has been completed, Delmarva Power will work with the Energy Office to provide our customers with more helpful information on the benefits they are receiving as a result of RESPA and the increasing utilization of Renewable Energy and other clean energy resources.