Regulators urged to reject challenge to Bloom Energy tariff

(AP) — Delaware utility regulators are being urged to reject a challenge to a deal under which Delmarva Power customers are forced to pay tens of millions of dollars to a California-based fuel cell manufacturer.

Public Service Commission staff and Delaware’s public advocate say the commission has no authority to change the tariff deal between Delmarva Power and Bloom Energy. The commission is scheduled to discuss the matter Tuesday.

State officials offered Bloom millions of dollars in job-creation incentives in 2012 to build fuel cells in Delaware. The state also imposed a “renewable energy” surcharge on Delmarva Power customers, even though Bloom’s fuel cells are powered by nonrenewable natural gas.

The surcharge has cost Delmarva customers more than $200 million, far higher than initially predicted. It lasts for another 15 years.

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