[NEWS] Loggers Say They Haven’t Been Paid By Biomass Company
– by Fred Bevers, March 23, 2017, Maine Public
State regulators are asking a biomass electricity company to explain why it’s not paying loggers for fuel, even though it received a state subsidy for that purpose.
Last year Maine lawmakers and Gov. Paul LePage authorized state utility regulators to award biomass electricity companies more than $13 million to boost payments for power generated in Maine. The goal was to assist Maine’s beleaguered forest products industry in the wake of multiple mill closures.
But loggers say one company that won a bid for the subsidy isn’t paying its debts.
Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, says Stored Solar, which operates plants in Enfield and Jonesboro, hasn’t paid many logging contractors in a month or more.
“Going as far back as second week in February. So the members just have not seen payments after that point in time for the majority of them. So it’s a very challenging situation,” he says.
Stored Solar has already received more than $400,000 in taxpayer subsidies this year, with the provision that it create 24 jobs and and buy a half million tons of biomass over the year.