A rebuttal to Ms. Susan Brennan’s Piece in the News Journal regarding Bloom Energy
She is comparing apples to oranges to rocks. If her math is half correct, and I will show later she is only half correct, the number of vehicles she estimates as taken off the road is 120,000 corresponds to 1.23 billion pounds CO2 emitted from these vehicles in only a single year. Bloom claims incorrectly and falsely that they emit 1.23 billion less pounds of CO2 versus the grid in total over the entire 21 years during which they will be heavily subsidized by Delmarva ratepayers. If the 1.23 billion pounds were correct, which I will show is not correct, this would be equal to taking only 5,714 vehicles off the road for each of the 21 years
Now let’s perform the correct calculation of the CO2 emissions savings. The EIA reports the Grid in Delaware emits 1,030 pounds CO2 per megawatt hour. From data obtained from the Delaware PSC the Bloom boxes are averaging 890 pounds CO2 per megawatt hour. The 30 megawatts station operating for 21 years with an 87% capacity factor will save 672,184,840 pounds of CO2, but only if the grid does not get greener which is false and if the Bloom boxes do not lose efficiency over time, which is known to occur. The 674,184,840 pounds is 54.6% of the 1.23 billion pounds of CO2 Ms. Brennan claimed. This demonstrates that Ms. Brennan is telling only a half-truth on the amount of CO2 emissions saved.
Ms. Brennan has a demonstrated history of not delivering the goods she promised. She as part of the Nissan team promised Energy Secretary Chu and therefore the American people that Nissan would be selling hundreds of thousands of Leafs a year. Nissan will sell approximately 15,000 Leafs this year.
Bloom might claim the grid electrons have line losses, this is again an incorrect assertion, as the Bloom electrons in Delaware are also generated at a substation and not at customer sites and therefore suffer similar line losses. By my analysis Bloom can claim they took 3,120 cars off the road at a cost to Delmarva ratepayers of $36 million a year. This is equivalent to paying each motorist $11,538.46 a year not to drive. Ms. Brennan is only 2.6% correct in the number of vehicles she estimated that will be taken off the road.
As the COO of Bloom, Ms. Brennan must have employment data for Bloom at their other sites in California and India. Two years back, Mr. Markell said to the News Journal (Aaron Nathans) that essentially all manufacturing is in Delaware. The COO must answer how many manufacturing jobs are in India and in California, and then we can see if it is true that essentially all manufacturing by Bloom is performed in Delaware.
She also claims the boxes are capable of "completely eliminating all air pollutants" . I ask then why do they have 14.4 pounds per day of VOC's permitted for the 30 megawatts of boxes (0.02 pounds per megawatt hour)? These emissions of VOC are similar to a paint shop spewing out VOCs. I ask why would Delmarva ratepayers subsidize a paint shop in the protected coastal zone?
Sorry to bore you with just a little more math. Bloom was supposed to increase employment from 600 to 900 this year. This is a 50 percent increase. They only hit a 23 percent increase or half the rate of increase they contracted for. The data are pretty bleak as bloom hired only 53 out of 300 additional jobs they promised for 2016. They hired 17.66% of what they promised for 2016. This implies they are doing relatively worse in 2016 than they were doing before. In 2015 total employment was 37.3% of what they promised. In 2016 total employment is only 30.8% of the promised amount.
She claims to deliver "clean, reliable and resilient power". Perhaps she considers toxic waste and higher than advertised CO2 emissions clean? Bloom is not as reliable as they claimed in the CZA permit application where Bloom promised 100% capacity factor. Data provided to the PSC show only 87% capacity factor. I have been an engineer for 43 years and have never heard the word resilient power??? Resilient to me means the ability to recover quickly from difficult conditions. Maybe her piece was an attempt at resilience, I give her that. But did she really recover? I think she actually dug a deeper hole to bury herself together with her sealed desulfurization canisters filled with Benzene. The mass of those sealed canisters with benzene could be as much as 1,000 tons per year. Yes Bloom could be sending as much as two million pounds a year of hazardous waste from Delaware to the Texas Hazmat site.
In September 2015, I asked the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers (DAPE) to investigate the professional conduct of five professional engineers regarding the hidden hazardous waste. Recently DAPE informed me that the investigation is now in the hands of the Delaware Department of Justice and that an Assistant Attorney General has been assigned to the case. DAPE’s investigation also turned up that one of the “professional” engineers who works for DNREC was in fact not registered as a professional engineer in Delaware. She played a role in the issuance of the CZA permit. One has to remember that in May 2012, I contacted DNREC to inform them that the Bloom CZA permit has inconsistencies. Had DNREC been open and honest with us all the Bloomdoggle could have been stopped just as it was being started.
I have asked Attorney General Denn to fully investigate the fake CZA permit. The ball is in his hands to quickly resolve this, or else we will be calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed, and a Federal investigation into the violation of the civil rights of citizens in Delaware to commence.
Lindsay Leveen The Green Machine
Winner of the 2013 First Prize Serious Column National Newspaper Association for exposing greenwashing by Bloom Energy in Delaware