The issue before the Public Service Commission is whether or not to allow the tariff agreement for Bloom Energy to go forward. Built into the consideration is from Delaware Code 26 Section 364:
(b) All funds disbursed to a qualified fuel cell provider project by a commission-regulated electric company, including incremental site preparation costs incurred by qualified fuel cell provider project, shall be collected from the entire Delaware customer base of such company through adjustable nonbypassable charges which shall be established by the Commission. A commission-regulated electric company participating in a qualified fuel cell provider project shall collect and disburse funds solely as the agent for the collection and disbursement of funds for the project and shall have no liability except to comply with the tariff provisions to be established as set forth in subsection (d) of this section. [emphasis added]
Simply put, any Delmarva customer will be charged, including Delaware’s manufacturers. Many of these manufacturers are national & global corporations. Investment decisions from these companies are determined by a cost-benefit analysis. Delaware already has non-competitive electric rates and a gross receipts tax that puts our State at a competitive disadvantage when companies are making investment decisions. The Non-Bypassable charge makes Delaware even less attractive for corporate investments.
So, for ~900-1500 jobs related to Bloom Energy, Delaware is likely going to lose the opportunity for investment from our existing employer base or from other manufacturing industries. As investments go elsewhere, our local manufacturers become more antiquated and less attractive for future investments eventually leading to shutting down (without significant government incentives — aka more money paid to companies to offset previous money paid to other corporations — aka crony capitalism & corruption). On an employment comparison basis, it is far from certain that Bloom Energy will be a net creator of jobs in Delaware. In truth, I expect the opposite.