Bridgewater Manager Explains Stance on Biomass Agreement

6/4/2011:  Featured Saturday in Laconia Citizen ~ By Victoria Guay

 

 

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New Hampshire Business Review

6/3/2011:  Featured today in New Hampshire Business Review ~ By Kathleen Callahan

Four N.H. wood-burning plants warn they’ll shut down without purchase deal

Let’s keep the word spreading in the right direction ~ call the Governor and your elected officials today! Click on Helpful Government Links on  the right to get phone numbers.

Support for Biomass from “The Communicator” – NH Farm Bureau

MayJune2011Communicator

Black Fly Breakfast Recap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        May 7, 2011

13th Annual Black Fly Breakfast Highlights NH Biomass Plants in Crisis

Representatives from biomass plants and timberland owners detail imminent closures, layoffs facing industry Henniker, NH (May 7, 2011)

A series of speakers representing New Hampshire’s biomass energy, forestry, and logging industries highlighted the growing challenges facing the state’s wood-burning biomass plants at the 13th Annual Black Fly Breakfast on Friday. Hosted by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, the Black Fly Breakfast is held annually as an educational opportunity for members of the forestry and logging industries.

Speaking at the event were Bridgewater Power General Manager Mike O’Leary, New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) Executive Director Jasen Stock, and Sarah Smith of the UNH Cooperative Extension.

Members of the forestry, logging, and related industries are increasingly concerned about the negative consequences posed by the potentially imminent closings of several of New Hampshire’s biomass plants, including the loss of 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, and many NH farmers use the wood ash from these plants to fertilize their fields.

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

Jasen Stock, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, spoke to the multi-industry consequences of the plants’ potential closure, and the negative impact on the state’s energy policy as a whole. Citing the results of a study performed by the NHTOA and UNH Cooperative Extension, Stock cautioned that the plant closures could put over a thousand jobs across related industries at risk. “The loss of these plants would hurt our state’s economy and have disastrous consequences across the forestry and logging industries,” said Stock.

Stock also pointed to directives in New Hampshire’s energy policy calling for the development of fuel diversity as a buffer against global instability, stating that biomass plants are an essential component of that effort. “These biomass plants play a crucial role in our state’s energy ‘big picture’,” said Stock, “With energy costs rising nationwide, its more important now than ever that New Hampshire has options.”

Mike O’Leary, General Manager of Bridgewater Power, detailed the current market conditions facing the biomass plants, and touted the wide-ranging economic benefits of the industry. “Biomass plants like Bridgewater Power provide good, permanent, full-time jobs in a part of that state where the job market is particularly challenging. Without a short-term contract to keep us operational, we will have no choice but to close our doors and layoff our workers. In this tough economy, New Hampshire simply can’t afford to lose any more jobs.” For more information, please contact Amelia Chasse at Novus Public Affairs at (603) 570-9063 Ext. 708.

Executive Councilor Ray Burton on Bulldog Live

Follow this link to hear Brian Tilton’s interview with Executive Councilor Ray Burton discussing the situation facing 4 local biomass plants in NH.

http://www.briantilton.com/Biomass/Burton-Oleary050411WTPL.mp3

Black Fly Breakfast Tomorrow – Henniker, NH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Henniker, NH (May 5, 2011)

 13th Annual Black Fly Breakfast to Highlight NH Biomass Plants in Crisis

Representatives from biomass plants and timberland owners to detail economic benefits of industry

 The 13th Annual Black Fly Breakfast, hosted by theUniversityofNew Hampshire Cooperative Extensionand being held Friday morning at Pat’s Peak Ski Area in Henniker, will include a series of speakers highlighting the current crisis facingNew Hampshire’s biomass industry.

Members of the forestry, logging, and related industries are increasingly concerned about the negative consequences posed by the potentially imminent closings of several ofNew Hampshire’s biomass plants, 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 ofNew Hampshirewill lose over $45 million dollars annually in economic activity if the four biomass plants with expiring contracts –Bethlehem, Tamworth,Bridgewater, andAlexandria– do not get renewed.  These plants, and the jobs that are created, are a critical part of theNew Hampshireeconomy, and a source of well paying rural jobs.

Speakers at the Black Fly Breakfast will include Bridgewater Power Plant Operator Mike O’Leary, New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) Executive Director Jasen Stock, and Sarah Smith of the UNH Cooperative Extension.

Jasen Stock of the NHTOA will provide an overview of the state’s energy policy. “Its essential that those in related industries, our state government, and all New Hampshire citizens understand the key role that these biomass plants play in our state’s energy ‘big picture’,” said Stock, “The loss of these plants would hurt our state’s economy and have disastrous consequences across the forestry and logging industries.”

“I plan to speak to the current market conditions that biomass plants are facing, as well as the wide-ranging economic benefits of this industry,” said Plant Operator Mike O’Leary, “Bridgewater Power, along with three other biomass plants in the state, faces imminent shutdown if we are unable to secure short-term contracts to keep us in business and our workers employed.  In this tough economy,New Hampshiresimply can’t afford to lose any more jobs.”

The Black Fly Breakfast is held annually as an educational opportunity for members of the forestry and logging industries.  The event is free and open to members of the press.  For more information about the Black Fly Breakfast, including program details and directions, visit: http://extension.unh.edu/FWT/docs/BlackFly_may2011.pdf

For more information, please contact Amelia Chasse at Novus Public Affairs at (603) 570-9063.

Letter from Governor’s Office

If you haven’t received it yet, you most likely will soon.