Berlin builds new biomass plant

Berlin, New Hampshire is starting production of a new $275 million, 75 megawatt plant which is expected to begin generating power in 2013, selling it to New Hampshire Public Service under a 20 year power purchase agreement.

New Hampshire Governor 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.

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,” Lynch said.

The project has 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.