– by H.J. Mai, May 10, 2017, Pacific Business News
Photo: Hu Honua Bioenergy
Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC said on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Co. on an amended power purchase agreement for its half-completed biomass plant on the Big Island.
HELCO agreed to revised terms for electricity to be produced by the biomass project and is submitting the amended contract to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for approval of Hu Honua’s proposed pricing, according to a company statement.
– May 17, 2017, The Daily World
Gov. Jay Inslee today signed legislation encouraging the production of renewable energy at older, fire-generated biomass facilities.
Senate Bill 5128, sponsored by Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview, will allow qualified mills to sell excess power generated by the burning of biomass, such as the fiber remains from timber or pulp, to local public utilities districts. The new law will help older facilities lower power costs by using renewable energy sources.
“Allowing paper mills like Longview’s KapStone, which employs 1,100 people, to sell off excess power will help keep jobs in our rural communities,” said Takko.
– by Darren Fishell, May 5, 2017, Bangor Daily News
Photo: Bangor Daily News
Stored Solar, a biomass plant that qualified for taxpayer subsidies has been offline for more than a month as the company says it tries to retool its plans at the facility.
Company spokesman Dan Cashman last week said that a boiler leak and wood supply problems during the muddy late spring led the company to close the wood-to-energy plant and analyze their operations.
– by Robert McClure, May 3, 2017, Undark
The idea that to generate electricity should be considered climate-friendly has been debated by scientists and politicians for years. Advocates, including many scientists, ask what could be more sustainable than burning trees? They drink in planet-warming gasses while growing, and give it back up when they are burned — a perfect closed loop with no net emissions. Critics, on the other hand — including other researchers — say the science is much more complicated than all that, and that when managed poorly, woody biomass power could be worse for the climate than coal.
– by Elizabeth Dunbar, April 3, 2017, Minnesota Public Radio
Photo: Tim Post / MPR
Xcel Energy and the western Minnesota city of Benson have reached an agreement on a plan to mitigate the expected closure of a biomass power plant that burns turkey litter.
Benson Power, owned by a group of investors, started producing electricity in 2007, helping Xcel fulfill a legislative mandate dating back to a 1994 settlement over nuclear waste storage at its Prairie Island plant. But Xcel says biomass power now costs up to 10 times more than new wind power, and city officials said the plant could close within a couple years.
– May 8, 2017, The Daily News
Photo: John Walker / Fresno Bee
At the last minute Monday, the administration of Gov. Jay Inslee delayed a decision on a bill that would help KapStone’s Longview pulp mill profit from production of renewable biomass energy.
Inslee initially was expected to sign the bill Monday morning, but his office withdrew it for further review and rescheduled it for his signature May 16, the governor’s press office said. Spokeswoman Tara Lee said the governor still is expected to sign the measure, but she said nothing is certain until it is inked.
– by Paul Gottlieb, April 21, 2017, Peninsula Daily News
Photo: Keith Thorpe / Peninsula Daily News
The former Nippon Paper Industries USA cogeneration plant has been shut down and eight of its workers laid off as the paper mill breathed its last breath — in its present form — for up to 18 months, McKinley Paper Co. spokeswoman Cathy Price said Monday.
Price, Nippon’s former human resources manager, is now filling that role with Mexican-owned McKinley, which purchased the mill March 31 from Japanese-owned Nippon for $20.6 million.