Regulators reject request to review Bloom Energy tariff

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- Delaware utility regulators have refused a request to review a deal under which Delmarva Power customers are forced to pay tens of millions of dollars to a California-based fuel cell manufacturer.

The state Public Service Commission rejected the request Tuesday after commission staff and Delaware's public advocate said regulators had no authority to change the tariff deal between Delmarva Power and Bloom Energy.

State officials offered Bloom millions of dollars in job-creation incentives in 2012 to build fuel cells in Delaware. They also guaranteed a revenue stream to Bloom through 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.