– 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, 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.
– April 23, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Today, 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.
– by Frank Jossi, April 2, 2018, Energy News Network
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.
– by Julie Williams, February 8, 2018, WLUC
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.
– February 19, 2018, Bioenergy Insight
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.
– by Erin Voegele, February 13, 2018, Biomass Magazine
U.K.-based Active Energy Group plc has announced its CoalSwitch plant in Utah officially became operational the week of Feb. 5 and is producing the company’s high-calorific, high-bulk-density biomass pellet. Active Energy said biomass fuel produced at the facility will be prepared for delivery under offtake agreements that are already in place.
According to the company, CoalSwitch is produced primarily from forestry waste and other industrial cellulose waste products. The product can be fired with coal in existing coal-fired power plants at any ratio, up to 100 percent.
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The report, Future of Energy: Top 100 Influencers, Brands, and Publications, by data analysis firm, Onalytica, ranked The Biomass Monitor #63 among publications such as Carbon Brief, E&E News, and the Washington Times.
Many thanks to all our readers and contributors who have played such an important role in getting out the whole story about bioenergy, biomass, and biofuels!
– 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.