Category Archives: politics

[NEWS] Why Biomass Remains a Challenge, Even in Timber-Rich Georgia

– by Gillian Neimark, June 16, 2017, Southeast Energy News

Albany Green biomass SE Energy NewsA new biomass plant under construction in Georgia highlights the challenging economics of the technology, even in a state so rich in forestry waste it exports it to other countries.

The 50 MW Albany Green plant – the largest renewable energy project in the state so far – is a unique collaboration among Georgia Power, private companies (including Procter & Gamble) and a nearby Marine base. While the cost for biomass generated electricity is too high to compete with wind and solar, the project also produces steam for industrial use, which improves its economics.

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[NEWS] Maine Lawmakers Put Biomass On Hold

– by Mike Clifford, June 12, 2017, Public News Service

woody biomass undark

Photo: Undark

Faced with key decisions on the best way to proceed on energy sources for Maine, state legislators have put off a bill to promote biomass, and moved forward on a measure to support solar power.

Dylan Voorhees, climate and clean energy director with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said the measure approved Friday increases the number of participants in solar farms, including consumers, from 10 to 200. At the same time, Voorhees said the bill shortcuts actions that would roll back net metering as a revenue source for Mainers who install renewable energy.

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[NEWS] Biomass Deal Will Increase Electricity Rates in Hawaii

– by John Burnett, May 27, 2017, Hawaii Tribune Herald

hu honua

Graphic: Hu Honua Energy

If Hu Honua Bioenergy’s long-delayed biomass power plant were to go online by the end of 2018, Hawaii Electric Light Company’s ratepayers would see increases in their electricity bills, according to an analysis HELCO filed Wednesday with the state Public Utilities Commission of a proposed power purchase agreement.

HELCO’s study used as its baseline the most recent power supply improvement plan, or PSIP, filed by HELCO in December, which includes how to gather 100 percent of energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind, water and biomass by 2045, a goal required by state law.

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[NEWS] New Law Allows Xcel to Shut Down Minnesota Biomass Facilities

– by Christine Bauman, June 11, 2017, Alpha News

minnesota biomass alpha news

Photo: Alpha News

Gov. Mark Dayton recently signed into law the omnibus jobs and energy bill allowing the Xcel Energy-managed Renewable Development Fund to be used to shut down three biomass power plants in Benson, Hibbing, and Virginia, Minnesota.

In 1994, Xcel Energy’s predecessor Northern States Power Co. wanted to expand their radioactive waste storage. The power company reached an agreement with the state, allowing an increase in nuclear storage in exchange for funding and development of clean energy alternatives. The Renewable Development Fund was created as a result of the agreement. Xcel was also required to use renewable sources, including biomass, for some of their energy production.

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[NEWS] New Hampshire House Passes Biomass Industry-Backed Energy Bill

– by Bob Sanders, June 7, 2017, NH Business Review

chip dump new hampshire biomass mag

Photo: Biomass Magazine

The NH House has overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 129, a bill that boosts the wood and solar industry, but could also raise electric bills.

The bill, which was approved a 222-84 vote on June 1, has pitted the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire against other business groups, such as the NH Clean Tech Council and the NH Timberland Owners Association.

The fight is far from over yet. The Senate still has to approve of House changes to the bill – which could happen on Thursday – or the measure could go to a committee of conference. And whatever emerges still could face a gubernatorial veto, if the BIA has its way.

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[NEWS] Court Orders Owners of CO Biomass Facility to Pay $10 Million to Company That Built It

– by Randy Wyrick, June 5, 2017, Summit Daily

Eagle Valley Clean Energy chipsA federal court jury ruled Monday that the owners of Gypsum’s biomass plant failed to pay the company that built it.

Wellons, an Oregon company, won a $10.84 million verdict, handing biomass plant owner-operator Eagle Valley Clean Energy a defeat in a civil lawsuit that has slogged on for more than a year. The jury also left the door open for Wellons to ask for interest on that amount. Wellons attorney Steve Leatham said the company will probably seek approximately $7 million in interest.

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[NEWS] Hawaii Biomass Facility Reaches Agreement with Utility Over Power Purchase

– by H.J. Mai, May 10, 2017, Pacific Business News

hu honua pacific business journal

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.

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