– by Paul Steinhauser, August 29, 2018, Concord Monitor
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.
– by Glynis Hart, August 24, 2018, Eagle Times
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.
– by Ethan DeWitt, July 3, 2018, Concord Monitor
Photo: Construction Equipment Guide
A third biomass power company has made plans to temporarily wind down operations following Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of a bill that sought to prop up the industry, an official confirmed on Tuesday.
Bridgewater Power Plant in Ashland, N.H., joins two other plants in the state that have stopped buying wood chips from local suppliers and are planning to burn through their stockpile in the coming weeks, according to Michael O’Leary, the plant’s asset manager.
– by John Lippman, June 30, 2018, Valley News
Photo: New Hampshire Business Review
Eric Cole was at home on Poverty Lane making dinner earlier this month when his phone rang. One of his customers was calling with bad news: A new $390,000 logging skidder that Cole, a heavy equipment salesman, had just delivered would have to be returned.
The customer, an Upper Valley logger whom Cole declined to identify, explained that Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto the day before of a bill that would have required utilities to purchase a portion of their electricity from the state’s wood-burning power plants had dealt a blow to his business. He would no longer be able to afford the $5,000 monthly payments for the piece of machinery that grabs logs, hauls them out of the woods and loads them onto trucks.
– by Daniela Allee, June 27, 2018, NHPR
Governor Sununu signed a bill on Wednesday that would extend the subsidy for the Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin by three years.
Under a 2011 agreement, Eversource pays Burgess at above-market prices. That’s capped at 100 million dollars, but that could be reached sooner than anticipated.
So, with this new bill, the subsidy will continue for three years after hitting the cap.
Those who opposed this bill argued that those above-market prices would be passed on to customers.
– by Ethan DeWitt, June 19, 2018, Concord Monitor
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.
– by Chris Jensen, November 20, 2017, InDepthNH.org
Photo: New Hampshire Business Review
Eversource customers paid $52.3 million more than necessary between November of 2013 and last April due to a controversial contract between the utility and the biomass-burning Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin.
That additional cost, which is being passed along to customers, is projected to grow to $100 million by April of 2020, if not sooner.
The affected customers buy their electricity directly from Eversource. Customers who buy from other suppliers, but are billed through Eversource, are not impacted.
The figures come from Frederick B. White, an Eversource official.
– by Bob Sanders, June 7, 2017, NH Business Review
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.
– by David Carkhuff, April 11, 2017, Laconia Daily Sun
Indeck Energy (Photo: NHBR)
Indeck Energy’s biomass plant in Alexandria will close April 30, affecting 16 employers and dozens of vendors and wood suppliers. But legislators hope to reverse one trend in energy markets in a bid to end the temporary closure.
Alexandria, a Lakes Region community of about 1,500 residents, is home to the 15-megawatt power plant fueled by biomass, the wood and organic material counted as a source of renewable energy.
“The decision to temporarily close was driven by revenue shortfalls created by the twin drivers of a really poor wholesale energy market and by low renewable energy credit market prices that really made operation of the plant economically unsustainable,” said Richard J. Killion, managing partner with Elevare Communications of Concord, a marketing firm representing Indeck Energy.
– by New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, October 26, 2016, Biomass Magazine
New Hampshire state officials recently celebrated National Bioenergy Day by holding an open house to recognize the completion of a new wood biomass boiler that will heat a major state building in Concord.
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the Department of Health and Human Services facility on Hazen Drive in Concord will be heated this winter with sustainably sourced local wood biomass chips instead of natural gas.
The project was completed through an innovative financing mechanism in partnership with ConEdison Solutions, a national energy services company. It is part of a comprehensive $12.7 million energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrade for facilities in the Meldrim Thomson State Office Park East.