– by Scott Thistle, January 10, 2018, Portland Press Herald
Photo: Ben McCanna / Press Herald
Gov. Paul LePage told lawmakers he opposes a pair of bills that would have taxpayers fund a $45 million subsidy to help Maine’s foundering biomass industry.
In a rare appearance before the Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee, LePage said the Legislature should focus instead on ways of creating industries that bring greater value from the state’s more than 18 million acres of forest lands.
The bills to support investments and a low-interest revolving loan fund come less than two years after the Legislature passed a $13.4 million taxpayer-funded bailout of the industry that LePage reluctantly supported at the time.
– by Trudy Balcom, December 15, 2017, White Mountain Independent
Arizona Public Service has released a preliminary study for greater inclusion of biomass in its energy portfolio — something that could have a positive impact on forest industry and wildfire prevention.
The 90-day study was completed and presented to the Arizona Corporation Commission on Dec. 5.
APS, who serves 1.2 million customers statewide and part of the White Mountains, was required to complete the study in order to secure approval from the Commission for a rate increase for APS customers. The increase will allow the utility to collect an additional $95 million in revenues.
– December 14, 2017, WWNY
With less than two weeks to go before Christmas, there’s some bad economic news from Lewis County. A business is closing its doors – affecting more than 100 jobs in the region.
The ReEnergy plant in Lyonsdale is pulling the plug on its biomass energy plant on December 29.
The plant, which turns north country wood into electricity, employs 22 people. It also supports more than 100 jobs in other industries such as logging and trucking.
– by Olivia Adams, October 15, 2017, The Red and Black
Photo: Fast Company
Wood pellets used for biomass energy, an alternative to fossil fuels, are produced right outside of Athens, but do not expect to see biomass energy adopted here. Those pellets are shipped straight to Europe, and new University of Georgia research shows why.
“With global warming, we really want to reduce carbon emissions,” said Dr. Richard Bin Mei, co-author of a study on biomass-produced electricity. “In the United States, unfortunately, we do not have the mandate or government subsidies, so our study looked at whether it is economically feasible to co-fire wood pellets with coal to produce power, and the answer is no, unless the government does the same thing as the EU.”
– by Brittany Ruess, November 1, 2017, Columbia Daily Tribune
A proposed more than $27 million electric power project would put the city of Columbia much closer to its future renewable energy goals and likely prompt a bond issue to cover the costs, city officials said Wednesday.
Christian Johanningmeier, the city’s power production superintendent, presented preliminary details of the project to the Water and Light Advisory Board on Wednesday. The project would convert an existing boiler at the city’s century-old municipal power plant, which stopped burning coal in 2015, into a biomass fueled power plant.
To access this issue, please subscribe to quarterly email issues of The Biomass Monitor.
Sustainable Biomass Program Under Scrutiny (FALL 2017)
A Close Look at the Sustainable Biomass Program
OPINION: Sustainable Biomass Program: A Best Practice Certification System by Carsten Huljus, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Biomass Program
OPINION: Sustainable Biomass Program Green Lights Forest Impacts by Sasha Stashwick, Energy and Transportation Senior Advocate, NRDC