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Would provide EDGE program to utilities that could lower electric bills


Staff writer

As part of the approval process for the Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas expansion project, Dominion has agreed to provide technology to Maryland utility companies that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 1 million tons per year and save customers 3 to 5 percent on their electricity bills, according to a press release.

Dominion Cove Point agreed to an additional permit condition with the Maryland Public Service Commission requiring the contribution of Dominion’s EDGE grid efficiency technology to support Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act. The proposal, introduced by the Maryland Power Plan Research Program, is part of the approval process for the proposed expansion of Dominion Cove Point, the release states.

The Maryland Public Service Commission is reviewing Dominion’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity application for a power facility for the LNG export project with the Maryland Power Plant Research Program, Dominion Cove Point spokesman Karl Neddenien said. The PPRP recommended Dominion contribute the EDGE technology as a good faith act, Neddenien said.

“We’re working with them to show we’re doing what we can to maintain environmental standards in Maryland,” Neddenien said.

Subject to approval by the PSC, the technology could be implemented by five Maryland utility companies. The technology optimizes the voltage delivered so customers do not pay for voltage they do not use, while still providing adequate voltage, Neddenien said.

With the EDGE technology, a customer’s electric bill could be lowered by 3 to 5 percent with no change in consumer behavior, the release states. The utility companies in return would be able to purchase less natural gas to make electricity.

Dominion will not charge the companies for installation or start-up training. In addition, the company will service and maintain the technology at no cost for the first four years, according to the release.

Dominion values the technology provided at no cost to the five companies at $1.8 million for the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, $2.15 million for Delmarva, $4.67 million for Pepco, $2.48 million for Potomac Edison and $9.28 million for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

If all companies choose to adopt the technology, the greeenhouse gas emission reduction will be almost 1 million tons per year. Many municipal utility companies across the country are using this technology purchased from Dominion, Neddenien said.