Tag Archives: renewable

[NEWS] Biomass Energy Becomes Lightning Rod in Race for New Hampshire Governor

– by Paul Steinhauser, August 29, 2018, Concord Monitor

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Photo: Concord Monitor

With New Hampshire paying some of the highest energy bills in the country, it’s no surprise that the issue’s front and center in this year’s campaign for governor.

The two Democratic challengers in the race – former state Sen. Molly Kelly of Harrisville and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand – have highlighted energy relentlessly this summer as they’ve touted their commitment to renewables and slammed Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on the issue. Sununu has spotlighted that he’s fighting to reduce energy prices for ratepayers.

A new TV ad by Kelly that hit the airwaves on Wednesday targeted Sununu for his controversial vetoes last month of two bills that would have aided the renewable energy industry.

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[NEWS] Activists: Sustain Veto of New Hampshire Biomass Burning Bill

– by Glynis Hart, August 24, 2018, Eagle Times

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Photo: Eagle Times

Two bills about renewable energy sources — biomass burning and small electrical generation originators — that were vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu June 19, drew public comment at the Claremont City Council meeting Wednesday. Citizens asked the council to vote against the biomass burning plants, and in favor of enhanced net-metering for small alternative energy systems like wind and solar.

Rebecca Mackenzie, representing ACTS Now, a Claremont group, read a letter with multiple signers, asking the council to support Sununu’s veto of Senate Bill (SB) 365, and to override the governor’s veto of a different bill, SB 446. The letter is circulating around the state in response to a movement by legislators to override the governor’s vetoes of the two bills.

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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] EPA Makes Decision on Carbon Neutrality of Biomass Energy

– April 23, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA 600Today, during a meeting with Georgia forestry leaders, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt discussed the importance of environmental stewardship and announced a new decision on the carbon neutrality of forest biomass.

“Today’s announcement grants America’s foresters much-needed certainty and clarity with respect to the carbon neutrality of forest biomass,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Managed forests improve air and water quality, while creating valuable jobs and thousands of products that improve our daily lives. This is environmental stewardship in action.”

In the meeting with members of the forestry community, Administrator Pruitt announced the Agency issued a statement of policy making clear, that future regulatory actions on biomass from managed forests will be treated as carbon neutral when used for energy production at stationary sources. The Agency will also be assessing options for incorporating non-forest biomass as carbon neutral into future actions.

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[NEWS] Despite Advances, Costs Keep Wood Biocoal on Backburner

– by Frank Jossi, April 2, 2018, Energy News Network

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Photo: Energy News Network

At a research lab in the northwoods of Minnesota, scientists are roasting tree waste until it turns into something that looks and burns like coal — without the heavy metal pollution. The finished product is called “biocoal” or “torrefied biomass,” and a team of University of Minnesota-Duluth researchers hope it might someday displace coal to fuel power plants, reinvigorating the region’s forestry economy and reducing carbon emissions at the same time.

The work at the Natural Resources Research Institute lab, about 200 miles north of the Twin Cities, appears to be the latest technical advance for woody biomass. The team’s facility is able to produce as much as 6 tons per day of the biocoal, which has energy values similar to coal. It’s been successfully tested in a Milwaukee tourist train and a large, coal-fired power plant owned by Minnesota Power, the investor-owned utility in the area.

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[NEWS] Northern Michigan University Explains Why Biomass Heating Facility Is Idle

– by Julie Williams, February 8, 2018, WLUC

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Photo: Julie Williams / WLUC

The Ripley plant at Northern Michigan University supplies steam to most of campus and plays a critical part in keeping Northern and its students comfortable.

“We provide all of the heat to all the buildings that don’t have their own boilers and it heats water, it heats air and also provides some steam for humidification,” said Gisele Duehring, Associate Director of Facilities.

Ripley expanded with a biomass plant in 2012 and 2013 that cost roughly 16 million dollars but right now it is not being used.

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[NEWS] Impact of Closing Minnesota Biomass Power Facility Revealed

– February 19, 2018, Bioenergy Insight

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Photo: Swift County Monitor

A recently published study from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has revealed the economic impact of closing a biomass power plant in the state.

In spring 2017 the Minnesota state legislature passed a law allowing Xcel Energy to buy and then shutdown Benson Power, a 50mW biomass facility that uses a mixture of poultry litter and wood to generate electricity. When announcing the closure, the legislature also directed DEED to carry out a study on the economic impact, state-wide, of closing the facility.

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