– 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 John Lippman, August 4, 2018, Valley News
Biomass power plants, a warren of hazardous machinery, can be dangerous places to work, especially if care is not taken to ensure a safe working environment. This was made tragically clear when a young man was killed while working at Springfield Power last year.
And it could have been prevented had the biomass plant followed proper training procedures for employees and ensured that the plant’s equipment was properly safeguarded, according to a recent finding by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
– 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 Rukhushan Mir, May 10, 2018, Urdu Point
Photo: Urdu Point
Electricity generation from solar resources in the United States reached 77 million megawatthours (MWh) in 2017, surpassing annual generation from biomass resources for the first time, the U.S.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. According to the EIA, among renewable sources, only hydro and wind generated more electricity in 2017, at 300 million MWh and 254 million MWh, respectively.
Biomass generating capacity has remained relatively unchanged recently, while solar generating capacity has consistently risen. Annual growth in solar generation often lags annual capacity additions because generating capacity tends to be added late in the year.
– by Emery Cowan, May 26, 2018, Arizona Daily Sun
APS is looking for new proposals that would use the small trees and branches from Arizona forests to generate a small portion of the energy the utility sends to customers around the state.
The idea is to provide a market for woody material that needs to be thinned from overcrowded, high-risk forests in northern and eastern Arizona in order to reduce the risk of severe wildfires, improve forest health and benefit watersheds.
There’s one big problem, though, according to the head of the state’s only utility-scale biomass power plant.
– by Avory Brookins, June 1, 2018, Rhode Island Public Radio
Photo: Oregon Department of Forestry
A Rhode Island bill that could have cleared the way for biomass power plants won’t move forward this legislative session.
Biomass is wood waste that is burned to generate electricity. It’s also considered a renewable resource.
The bill would have included biomass in the state’s “net-metering” program, which gives credits to customers for extra power generated by renewables, such as solar and wind, that flows back into the electrical grid. Those credits can lower ratepayers’ utility bills.