Category Archives: politics

[NEWS] Gainesville, Florida City Commission Votes to Buy Biomass Facility for $750M

– August 24, 2017, WCJB

gainesville city wcjbGainesville City Commissioners have decided to pull the trigger and the people who own the controversial biomass plant are getting a powerball-sized payday.

The negotiation to buy a controversial bio mass plant has been in the works for several months with a price tag of 750 million dollars.

“Price is just one variable. The other part of the variable is interest rate and the other variable is the vehicle by which you use to get the financing,” said Edward Bielarski Jr. of Gainesville Regional Utilities.

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[NEWS] Arizona Studying Bioenergy for Wildfire Management

– by Anna Simet, August 23, 2017, Biomass Magazine

ForestLogsSmall_Biomass Magazine

Photo: Biomass Magazine

The Arizona Corporation Commission has ordered Arizona Public Service to evaluate forest bioenergy as part of its resource portfolio.

A May memorandum from Commissioner Boyd Dunn instructed the opening of a docket to explore forest bioenergy, and its current role and impact in Arizona. The memo emphasized the important role forest bioenergy serves in maintaining Arizona’s forests, woodlands, and watersheds while creating energy for the grid. “Our history is riddled with examples of the devastating economic, cultural, and ecological impact of Arizona wildfires,” it stated. “In addition, state watersheds, including streams, lakes and reservoirs are at risk of contamination from hazardous runoff coming from the burned areas. Maintaining healthy forests and woodlands through on-the-ground restoration activities reduces the risk and severity of these wildfires.”

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[NEWS] Maine Loggers Say Biomass Energy Company Fails To Pay For Wood

– by Fred Bever, August 23, 2017, Maine Public Radio

wood scraps treeware

Photo: Treeware.com

A biomass energy company subsidized by Maine taxpayers continues to struggle. Loggers say Stored Solar isn’t paying them for wood they’ve delivered to its plants. But another biomass energy company eligible for the incentives is hitting its targets.

George Moon is a fourth-generation logger and owner of TJ Timber Products in Hancock, a three-person operation that’s seen hard times in recent years, as Maine paper mills have shut down. He says he hasn’t been paid since April for wood-fuel he’s delivered to Stored Solar’s Jonesboro biomass plant. His tab, he says, is now nearly $50,000. Meanwhile, he’s had to pay the Downeast landowners whose properties he’s logged.

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[NEWS] Hawaii Biomass Project Slated for December 2018

– by Tom Callis, August 9, 2017, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Hu Honua Biomass Hawaii Tribune Herald

Photo: Hawaii Tribune-Herald

A Hu Honua Bioenergy official says construction of its biomass power plant near Pepeekeo is moving “full speed ahead” and is on track to be complete in December 2018.

The project recently was brought from the brink after the state Public Utilities Commission approved an amended power purchase agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Co. on July 28.

The utility previously canceled its contract with Hu Honua, which initially planned to be complete in January 2016, due to missed deadlines. The amended PPA is the result of a settlement agreement between the parties.

Harold Robinson, president of Island Energy, Hu Honua’s parent company, said construction resumed July 3 ahead of the ruling and the company is ramping up those efforts.

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[NEWS] Colorado Biomass Facility Owners May Be Garnished for Failing to Pay Builders

– by Randy Wyrick, August 18, 2017, Vail Daily

Eagle Valley Clean Energy chipsThe company that built the Gypsum biomass plant wants to garnish plant owner Eagle Valley Clean Energy for failing to pay for the work.

A federal court jury ruled in June that Wellons Inc., an Oregon company, was owed $10.84 million by Dean Rostrom and Kendric Wait’s Eagle Valley Clean Energy for building the biomass plant in Gypsum. Neither Rostrom nor Wait, nor any of the companies with which they’re involved, have paid Wellons, according to a motion filed Tuesday in Denver Federal District Court.

With interests and costs, Eagle Valley Clean Energy’s tab has now run up to $11,491,002.89, according to those documents.

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[NEWS] Plumas County, California Breaks Ground on Biomass Facility

– by Steve Wathen, August 14, 2017, Plumas County News

plumas county biomass magazine

Graphic: Biomass Magazine

Lori Simpson, chairwoman of the board of supervisors, said that she has been on the board for nine years and that entire time the board has been discussing biofuels. “Now, we have the whole package,” she said. “A non-profit went out and acquired a grant to help pay for the system.”

“Yes there is a certain amount of risk,” she added, “However, I ask myself, ‘Am I going to be a visionary?’”

Simpson declared, “I think this is a great opportunity. We are going to be the showcase for the state. I don’t want to lose this opportunity.”

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[NEWS] Maine’s Biomass Bailout Not Helping Loggers Much

– by Darren Fishell, August 18, 2017, Bangor Daily News

A1_lede_CovantaRumor010716 2.jpg

Photo: Gabor Degre

The biomass company in line for a state subsidy intended to help maintain a market for loggers purchased only half the wood it proposed buying under the subsidy arrangement.

Taxpayers are shielded somewhat from the deficiency, as the company stands to collect fewer state dollars for falling short under the agreement.

In newly required reports, Stored Solar LLC disclosed that in the first half of the year, it was only 31 percent of the way toward its year-end wood purchasing goal. It had purchased about 155,300 tons, while promising to purchase at least 500,000 tons by year’s end.

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