Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, Inc. (DEMEC) celebrated the commissioning of unit #2 at the Beasley Power Station. About 100 people attended the event, including representatives of DEMEC, its member communities and local and State officials, including Delaware Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara and Smyrna Mayor Patricia A. Stombaugh.
"This expansion of the Beasley Power Station is further, tangible proof that the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation is committed to making Delaware more competitive -- not just with regard to electric rates, but also with regard to job expansion and community well-being," said Governor Jack Markell. "The DEMEC member utilities provide tremendous value to the residents and businesses in the communities they serve."
The DEMEC Beasley Power Station is a 100 megawatt (fired) natural gas peaking facility, which will supply power to 7 participating DEMEC member communities. The participating Delaware communities are Newark, New Castle, Middletown, Clayton, Smyrna, Milford and Seaford. In 2001, DEMEC commissioned Unit #1 of the Beasley Power Station facility to supply needed capacity and energy to the DEMEC communities and the State.
"The expansion of the Beasley Power Station fits well with DEMEC's long-term power supply strategy of reducing its members' reliance on wholesale power markets through development of diverse generation assets," DEMEC President & CEO Patrick E. McCullar said. "DEMEC members have, in the past, relied on the wholesale market for more than 90 percent of their power supply needs. Based on DEMEC members' long-term power supply analysis, the Beasley Power Station will provide a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, asset-based alternative to wholesale energy and capacity markets."
The Beasley Power Station expansion is part of DEMEC's continuing commitment to provide reliable firm power supply from clean, highly efficient generation technology located right here in Delaware to meet the growing needs of Delaware. This $30 million state-of-the-art electric generation unit expansion is powered by clean natural gas and state-of-the-art low emission technology, making it the cleanest carbon-based generation resource in Delaware. DEMEC is committed to protecting Delaware's environment while providing the increased generation capacity and reliable energy supply needed to lower the cost of electricity and power Delaware's economic growth.
DEMEC's chosen generation technology results in a more stable and reliable power supply system for Delaware. The Beasley Power Station can provide the energy to power 95,000 homes. The facility is also capable of being tied into the Town of Smyrna distribution system to provide 100% reliability by operating in load-following mode to keep the lights on in Smyrna if the transmission grid was unavailable. This capability is invaluable to 24-hour operations such as hospitals and businesses like the Wal-Mart Distribution Center.
The Beasley Power Station is a self-contained facility that can operate independently or in synchronization with the regional transmission grid. It uses advanced synchronous condensing technology to provide voltage control for increased stability to the transmission system and higher power quality to end users of electricity.
The Beasley Power Station's quick start and energy balancing characteristics also enable the deployment of greater amounts of intermittent Alternative Energy Resources in Delaware while maintaining a stable, reliable power supply system.
The Beasley Expansion project created over 100 jobs, more than half of them right here in the Smyrna area.
We have nine Public Power community utilities here in Delaware, most of which are over a century old. They are all members of DEMEC:
City of Dover City of Newark
City of Milford Town of Middletown
City of Seaford Town of Smyrna
City of Lewes Board of Public Works Town of Clayton
City of New Castle Municipal Services Commission
These Public Power utilities are well run and provide tremendous value to the residents and businesses in the communities they serve. Through local governance and the Public Power business model, these communities create very attractive business environments for existing businesses to expand and new businesses to locate. These Public Power communities have recently had success in locating existing business expansions and new business facilities in their communities from companies like Johnson Controls, Seawatch International, Amazon.com, and Bloom Energy, and we expect additional business developments in these Public Power communities in the near future, providing more quality jobs for Delaware.
DEMEC recently worked with the Governor's office to improve economic development opportunities in the DEMEC communities by adopting an initiative to lower retail rates and creating economic development incentives to promote business expansion and attract new businesses.
DEMEC's continuing commitment to Delaware:
Provide reliable and economic power supply to our communities and our state.
Deliver the benefits of our investments and changes in the electric industry to our communities and our state economy.
Support local control for our communities' social and economic welfare.
The Beasley Power Station is an important source of capacity and peaking power to the participants and the state. Peaking power is energy needed during the highest demand hours throughout the year. Additionally, Unit #2 employs a state-of-the-art synchronous condensing clutch, which provides stabilizing power conditioning to the regional transmission system, resulting in increased reliability for Delaware's power system.
DEMEC is currently in the process of commissioning, startup and other activities. The plant will begin commercial operation in June, 2012.
The Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation ("DEMEC") was established in 1979 as a not-for-profit Public Power Utility by seven Delaware municipal distribution utilities, as authorized by the Delaware General Assembly under Title 22 of the Delaware code.
Members of DEMEC are the cities and towns of Clayton, Dover, Lewes, Middletown, Milford, New Castle, Newark, Seaford and Smyrna. Collectively, they serve over 100,000 residents and businesses in their respective communities. In total DEMEC's Members have a combined peak load of over 450 Megawatts. DEMEC is a generation owner and the PJM Load Serving Entity ("LSE") for eight of these municipal utilities (all except Dover),providing 100% of their wholesale power supply requirements.
DEMEC operates a diversified portfolio of self-supply generation assets including natural gas, wind, and solar.
For additional information, visit DEMEC's Web site at www.demecinc.net.
Public Power has been an American tradition since 1880. There are currently over 2,000 Public Power systems in the United States. Public Power is a collection of community-owned electric utilities operating in 49 states, serving more than 46 million Americans. This represents about 15 percent of the nation's electricity consumers.