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Want bill credits from BGE deal? Or green energy?

Some of the testimony by Mayo Shattuck and Chris Crane at the energy-merger hearings has centered around what kind of benefit Exelon should provide Maryland in return for regulators approving its buyout of Constellation Energy, parent of BGE.

Exelon President Chris Crane had favored offering more renewable energy to the state than the 25 megawatts that ended up in the initial offer. But Constellation chief Shattuck believed bill credits are more important to getting approval, my colleague Hanah Cho reports. It's an interesting question. In Gov. Martin O'Malley's first term, bill credits would have been the way to go. He was focused on getting as much back for residential customers as possible.

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O'Malley 2.0, however, seems more interested in green energy. He's pushing it in several ways, most visibly with a proposal to build a big offshore wind farm. I'm guessing the Public Service Commission, which is directly charged with approving the buyout, is still more focused on credits. During testimony Crane acted as if it's an either-or proposition: More renewable-based generation would mean lower bill credits. But that's a negotiating position. Don't be surprised if the final package includes a $100 credit for households and a little more -- maybe 40 MW -- of renewable generation capacity.

I don't believe that's enough benefit for what Maryland would give up by selling Constellation, but I don't get to vote. I also believe Maryland needs additional renewable-energy capacity more than it needs another $100 rebate for households. But as I said...

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