– by Fred Bever, August 23, 2017, Maine Public Radio
A biomass energy company subsidized by Maine taxpayers continues to struggle. Loggers say Stored Solar isn’t paying them for wood they’ve delivered to its plants. But another biomass energy company eligible for the incentives is hitting its targets.
George Moon is a fourth-generation logger and owner of TJ Timber Products in Hancock, a three-person operation that’s seen hard times in recent years, as Maine paper mills have shut down. He says he hasn’t been paid since April for wood-fuel he’s delivered to Stored Solar’s Jonesboro biomass plant. His tab, he says, is now nearly $50,000. Meanwhile, he’s had to pay the Downeast landowners whose properties he’s logged.
– by Darren Fishell, August 18, 2017, Bangor Daily News
Photo: Gabor Degre
The biomass company in line for a state subsidy intended to help maintain a market for loggers purchased only half the wood it proposed buying under the subsidy arrangement.
Taxpayers are shielded somewhat from the deficiency, as the company stands to collect fewer state dollars for falling short under the agreement.
In newly required reports, Stored Solar LLC disclosed that in the first half of the year, it was only 31 percent of the way toward its year-end wood purchasing goal. It had purchased about 155,300 tons, while promising to purchase at least 500,000 tons by year’s end.
– by Darren Fishell, May 5, 2017, Bangor Daily News
Photo: Bangor Daily News
Stored Solar, a biomass plant that qualified for taxpayer subsidies has been offline for more than a month as the company says it tries to retool its plans at the facility.
Company spokesman Dan Cashman last week said that a boiler leak and wood supply problems during the muddy late spring led the company to close the wood-to-energy plant and analyze their operations.
– by Fred Bevers, March 23, 2017, Maine Public
Photo: Bangor Daily News
State regulators are asking a biomass electricity company to explain why it’s not paying loggers for fuel, even though it received a state subsidy for that purpose.
Last year Maine lawmakers and Gov. Paul LePage authorized state utility regulators to award biomass electricity companies more than $13 million to boost payments for power generated in Maine. The goal was to assist Maine’s beleaguered forest products industry in the wake of multiple mill closures.
But loggers say one company that won a bid for the subsidy isn’t paying its debts.
Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, says Stored Solar, which operates plants in Enfield and Jonesboro, hasn’t paid many logging contractors in a month or more.
“Going as far back as second week in February. So the members just have not seen payments after that point in time for the majority of them. So it’s a very challenging situation,” he says.
Stored Solar has already received more than $400,000 in taxpayer subsidies this year, with the provision that it create 24 jobs and and buy a half million tons of biomass over the year.
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