Category Archives: forests

[NEWS] Tucson, Arizona Looking at Biomass Power Generation

– by David Wichner, July 2, 2018, Arizona Daily Star

biomass-logging_jake-bacon_arizona-daily-sun

Photo: Jake Bacon / Arizona Daily Sun

After boosting its solar power generation and adding wind-energy projects in recent years, Tucson Electric Power Co. is looking at biomass generation from burning wood or other organic matter.

TEP said Friday that it is seeking information about forest biomass generation systems that could generate power for customers while improving the health of Arizona forests.

The utility issued a request for information about technologies, costs, environmental benefits, construction requirements and interconnection requirements of forest biomass energy projects.

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[NEWS] Third N.H. Biomass Company Winds Down Operations Following Energy Bill Veto

– by Ethan DeWitt, July 3, 2018, Concord Monitor

Bridgewater_Construction-Equipment-Guide

Photo: Construction Equipment Guide

A third biomass power company has made plans to temporarily wind down operations following Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of a bill that sought to prop up the industry, an official confirmed on Tuesday.

Bridgewater Power Plant in Ashland, N.H., joins two other plants in the state that have stopped buying wood chips from local suppliers and are planning to burn through their stockpile in the coming weeks, according to Michael O’Leary, the plant’s asset manager.

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[NEWS] New Hampshire Loggers Say Biomass Subsidy Veto Hitting Them Hard

– by John Lippman, June 30, 2018, Valley News

NH Business review

Photo: New Hampshire Business Review

Eric Cole was at home on Poverty Lane making dinner earlier this month when his phone rang. One of his customers was calling with bad news: A new $390,000 logging skidder that Cole, a heavy equipment salesman, had just delivered would have to be returned.

The customer, an Upper Valley logger whom Cole declined to identify, explained that Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto the day before of a bill that would have required utilities to purchase a portion of their electricity from the state’s wood-burning power plants had dealt a blow to his business. He would no longer be able to afford the $5,000 monthly payments for the piece of machinery that grabs logs, hauls them out of the woods and loads them onto trucks.

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[NEWS] New Hampshire Governor Signs Bill Extending Subsidies to Biomass Facility

– by Daniela Allee, June 27, 2018, NHPR

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Photo: InDepthNH

Governor Sununu signed a bill on Wednesday that would extend the subsidy for the Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin by three years.

Under a 2011 agreement, Eversource pays Burgess at above-market prices. That’s capped at 100 million dollars, but that could be reached sooner than anticipated.

So, with this new bill, the subsidy will continue for three years after hitting the cap.

Those who opposed this bill argued that those above-market prices would be passed on to customers.

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[NEWS] New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Biomass Bill

– by Ethan DeWitt, June 19, 2018, Concord Monitor

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Photo: Biomass Power Association

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed two energy-related bills on Tuesday in a bid to block efforts he says would have cost electric ratepayers about $110 million over three years. But key members of his party are bristling at the move, calling the bills a vital lifeline for the biomass and timber industry in the North Country — and they say they have the votes to override it.

One bill, Senate Bill 365, would require utilities to purchase power from New Hampshire’s six independent biomass power plants. Supporters of the bill said on Tuesday it was critical to the survival of the plants and the 900 jobs they support, including one plant in Penacook. But Sununu said on Tuesday that the bill amounted to an “immense subsidy” for the companies.

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[NEWS] Financial Concerns Around Idle Texas Biomass Facility

– by Mark Lisheron, May 7, 2018, Texas Monitor

nacogdoches_texas-monitorFor almost six years, Austin Energy customers have been paying about $54 million a year for a power plant in East Texas not to produce biomass energy.

Those customers also paid $128 million to build the plant.

Nearly two years ago, the city of Austin hired a staff of attorneys to see if Austin Energy could get out from under a 20-year contract that even supporters of the wood-burning power plant came to see as a terrible deal for utility customers.

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[NEWS] Maine Utility Regulators Approve $1.2 Million Subsidy For Biomass Facility

– by Steve Mistler, April 5, 2018, Maine Public Radio

stored-solar_maine-public-radio

Photo: Maine Public Radio

The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday to approve a $1.2 million taxpayer subsidy to an embattled biomass company operating two plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro.

The vote by the three-member commission largely followed the recommendation of PUC staff, which found last month that Stored Solar LLC met only one of its three contract obligations, while falling well short of the other two.

It maintained the agreed upon number of jobs, but purchased less than 40 percent of the waste wood it promised, and it spent $1 million less on capital expenditures than it was supposed to.

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