Biomass plant to close, but legislators hope it’s only temporary

A biomass plant in Alexandria, New Hampshire, will shut down on 30 April, but local legislators hope to make the closure temporary, according to The Laconia Daily Sun.

Revenue shortfalls have forced the temporary closing of the 15 megawatt plant fuelled by wood and organic materials. The closure will affect 16 local businesses and dozens of vendors and wood suppliers.

Illinois based Indeck reopened the plant late in 2008, after it had been shut down by its previous owners.

Richard J. Killion, managing partner with Elevare Communications of Concord, a marketing firm representing Indeck Energy, told The Laconia Daily Sun: "The decision to temporarily close was driven by revenue shortfalls created by the twin drivers of a really poor wholesale energy market and by low renewable energy credit market prices that really made operation of the plant economically unsustainable," He also explained that Indeck “views it as a temporary closure”.

New Hampshire’s state House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee is set to deliberate on a new bill to support the biomass market. Senate Bill 129 would increase the reimbursement to biomass power producers, something which could help biomass plants in New Hampshire like Indeck’s.

Killion said that although Indeck support’s the legislation being debated, it might not be enough. “Unfortunately it does not do anything about the low wholesale energy prices, the other driver impacting the decision to temporarily close the plant.”

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