August 8, 2012, Watertown, NY - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently visited the ReEnergy Black River facility at Fort Drum as part of his statewide “open for business” tour. ReEnergy is converting the idled coal plant to utilize biomass material as its primary fuel, creating more than 300 jobs, environmental benefits, and promising enhanced energy security for the Army installation.
ReEnergy Holdings LLC has acquired the idled Black River Generation Facility — now called ReEnergy Black River — located at Fort Drum, the U.S. Army installation near Watertown, NY, which is home to the Army’s 10th Mountain Division. The Black River Generation Facility, which has 60 megawatts of generation capacity, had primarily burned coal to produce electricity. ReEnergy plans to convert the primary fuel source to sustainably harvested local biomass, investing millions of dollars to renovate the facility and develop a state-of-the-art producer of green energy.
To the extent possible, ReEnergy will source local wood fuel from managed lands subject to third-party certification, such as the Forest Stewardship Council, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and the American Tree Farm System. We expect to make approximately $11 million in annual forest residue purchases from local foresters in the four-county region.
ReEnergy Black River is anticipated to be operational by early 2013, at which time it would be capable of producing approximately 400,000 MWh of electricity each year — enough to supply the power needs of more than 50,000 homes. The facility could be a secure and reliable source of renewable energy to satisfy 100 percent of Fort Drum’s electricity demand. Efforts are underway to secure a contract with the U.S. Army to provide power to the installation, which would allow Fort Drum to be on the leading edge of Department of Defense initiatives in the areas of renewable energy and sustainability.