Biomass power plant to create hundreds of jobs
Oct 8, 2011, Berlin, NH (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) - More than 250 people turned out for the groundbreaking ceremony of Burgess BioPower, formerly known as the Berlin Station, in Berlin, N.H., Oct. 6.
The $275 million, 75-megawatt plant is expected to begin generating
power in 2013, selling it to New Hampshire Public Service under a
20-year power purchase agreement. New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, New
Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development
Commissioner George Bald, and Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier were among
the state and local officials in attendance at the groundbreaking.
"This is a wonderful pre-holiday gift for us, bringing desperately
needed jobs to Berlin and Coos County," Grenier said. "This biomass
plant is a huge benefit to all the people of northern New Hampshire,
not just those here and now, but for future generations as well. Use
of biofuels can reduce dependence on out-of-state and foreign energy
sources, keeping energy dollars invested in New Hampshire's economy."
Developer Cate Street Capital said Grenier has been an ardent
supporter and instrumental leader throughout the project's permitting
Burgess BioPower sits on the Androscoggin River in downtown Berlin on
the former site of the Fraser Papers pulp mill, which closed in 2006.
The biomass plant will burn approximately 750,000 tons of low-grade
wood per year.
"The construction of this new biomass power plant will bring jobs to
the North Country, and increase the amount of renewable energy used
in New Hampshire," Gov. Lynch said. "I am pleased we were all able to
work together – Cate Street Capital, PSNH, local and state officials
– so that we can break ground on this facility, which will be a real
economic benefit to the North Country."
The project has certainly had its barriers including local
opposition, as well as disagreements with six independent biomass
power plants in the state also vying for PPAs with PSNH. An agreement
was reached among Cate Street Capital, PSNH and the six plants in
August, allowing development of Burgess BioPower to continue.
No protesters attended the groundbreaking, according to Scott
Tranchemontagne, spokesperson for Cate Street Capital. "There's not a
lot to protest anymore," he said. "It's a done deal."
According to local radio station WMUR-TV (bit.ly/pgyCuo),
the plant's expected to create 400 construction jobs and 40 permanent
jobs while having an impact on several hundred others, including loggers
and foresters in the region.