Archive for April, 2011

Keep the Momentum Going

NHTOA Letter of Support to Governor Lynch

Click here to see the most recent letter of support presented to Governor Lynch from Jasen Stock, Executive Director of NH Timberland Owners Association.

Thank you to all who have offered their support of this very worthwhile cause! Keep those letters coming!

Offer Your Support

Here’s your chance to let the NH Public Utilities Commission know ~

The NHPUC is conducting a study of energy efficiency and sustainable energy in New Hampshire and would like to get your input. Let them know your thoughts by taking a short survey <https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NewHampshireEnergyStudy>.

It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, all responses will be treated as strictly confidential.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to participate!

The survey is available through April 30.

NH Journal

Click here for videos of the speakers at the meeting in Pembroke on March 31st, as seen on nhjournal.com.

Call Today!

NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION!

There are a handful of Senators that need to hear from us regarding the importance of biomass power. 
These calls need to be made prior to Thursday
The specific messages they need to hear are:
  1. NH’s biomass plants are struggling to survive under the current power and renewable energy markets.  There are seven plants across the state with 4 on the verge of closing.
  2.  Each plant represents 20 direct power plant jobs. Total direct economic impact per plant (wood purchases and operational costs) is conservatively over $10 million per year.  Indirectly each plant supports over 250 in-woods jobs harvesting and trucking timber and wood chips. (These are numbers from the survey work NHTOA and UNH Cooperative Extension did). 
  3. Policymakers are in a position to help keep these plants viable. If asked what they can do: 
         1) Help facilitate the negotiation of short-term contract between the power plants and the state’s utilities/competitive energy suppliers and, 
        2) Modify the NH Renewable Power laws to be more supportive of in-state biomass production)
When you call please stress JOBS.  Be sure to mention the number of employees you have and emphasize that your company and you personally would loose XXX jobs if the power plants close.
 
The Senators that need to hear from us are:
  •  John Gallus (Coos County): 752-1066 (home), 271-3077 (office)
  •  Jeannie Forrester (Grafton County): 271-2104 (office), 279-1459 (home)
  •  Jeb Bradley (Carroll County): 271-2106 (office)
  •  Robert Odell (Sullivan County): 863-9797 (office), 271-6733 (office-Concord)
 Also, it would not hurt if the Senate President heard from some of us. His name is Peter Bragdon and he covers the Towns of Amherst, Greenville, Jaffrey, Milford, New Ipswich, Peterborough, Rindge, Sharon, Temple and Wilton.  His numbers are 673-7135 (home), 271-2111 (office).

Miss Last Week’s Meeting?

Check out audio versions of the presentations by:

Senator Andy Sanborn, Mike O’Leary, Jasen Stock, Marlo Herrick, Ed Witt, Dennis McKenny, Shelagh Connelly and Charley Hanson

courtesy of Bulldog Live with Brian Tilton on The Pulse at:

Keep the Momentum Going!

Great turnout at the meeting last night. Special thank you to Senator Sanborn for making the time to attend as well. Keep the letters going – we need to keep up the momentum!

Penacook, NH (March 31, 2011) More than 140 people attended a public information meeting hosted by the New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Council to discuss the negative economic consequences if the state’s existing biomass power plants were forced to close because they could not secure energy contracts.  The meeting entitled, “Biomass in Crisis: Jobs, Clean Energy, and the Economy at Risk”, took place Thursday evening March 31 at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook. The event attracted many people from the timber, biomass, recreation, farming industries and general public who are concerned about the negative consequences posed by the plant potentially imminent closings, including the loss of than 400 – 500 jobs and more than $45 million in local economic activity.

Recent market conditions have resulted in an uncertain future for the six independent biomass-burning power plants in New Hampshire that collectively provide up to 100 MW of renewable electricity- enough to power 100,000 homes – to the New England electric power grid. These plants directly employ more than 100 employees and pay nearly $1.1 million dollars in state and local taxes. In addition, their suppliers and subcontractors employ more than 400 workers in the form of chip producers, truckers, mechanics and maintenance sub-contractors.

The state of New Hampshire will lose over $45 million dollars annually in economic activity if the four biomass plants with expiring contracts – Bethlehem, Tamworth, Bridgewater, and Alexandria – do not get renewed. These plants, and the jobs that are created, are a critical part of the New Hampshire economy, and a source of well paying rural jobs.

Speaking at the meeting were New Hampshire State Senator Andy Sanborn; Eric Johnson, Program Director of NH Timberland Owners Association; Mike O’Leary, Plant Operator of Bridgewater Power; Dennis McKenney, Board Member of New England Forestry Consultants; Ed Witt, Procurement Forester, Madison Lumber Mill; Jasen Stock, Executive Director of NH Timberland Owners Association; and Marlo Herrick, Chief Financial Officer of Hopkinton Forestry and Land Clearing; Shelagh Connelly, President and Charlie Hanson, Sales Executive of Resource Management, Inc.; and Charlie Niebling, Merrimack Valley High School.

Attendees at the event were asked to take action by contacting their elected representatives to alert them to this problem.

 “The time to act is now!” stated Marlo Herrick, Chief Financial Officer of Hopkinton Forestry and Land Clearing. “Governor Lynch and your state senators, representatives, and executive councilmen need to hear from you. Let them know how important these facilities are to you and your community.”

 Jasen Stock, Executive Director for the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, commented on the need to preserve the state’s biomass industry. “New Hampshire’s wood power plants play a key role in [New Hampshire’s] economic well being across many industries,” said Stock. “Timberland owners, loggers, ash recyclers, farmers, and truckers depend on the plants for their survival.”

“As a plant operator I see the writing on the wall,” said Mike O’Leary, Plant Operator for the Bridgewater Power biomass plant. “Without a short-term contract to keep us operational, I, along with the other plant managers here today, will have no choice but to close our doors. In this economy, the state can’t afford to lose one more job.”

“I don’t want to be forced to lay off staff,” said Madison Lumber Mill owner Ed Witt. “If the plants shut down and we lose the income from our wood chip sales, my only choice will be to let people go. There is a solution available and hopefully new contracts will arise to help keep our plants going.”

The meeting included an update on regional energy markets, the results of a survey of the economic impacts of both the power plants and biomass chip producers, and a panel discussion on the future of biomass.

For more information, please contact Eric Johnson at The New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association at (603) 224-9699or Amelia Chasse at Novus Public Affairs at (603) 570-9063.