Biomass Power Increased in California, Maine, Massachusetts

Ridgewood Power, an investor in and operator of power generation facilities in the United States and internationally, has announced that its Olinda landfill methane plant, located in Orange County, California, was recently awarded a contract by the State of California for the purchase of electricity produced by the facility.

RIDGEWOOD, New Jersey 2002-04-02 [] Additionally, Ridgewood’s Penobscot and Eastport, Maine waste woodchip-burning plants will be significant beneficiaries of green power regulations issued by the State of Massachusetts earlier this month. “The actions by regulatory authorities in California and Massachusetts are exceptional wins for Ridgewood Power, our investors and those who believe in the importance of Renewable Energy sources,” said Robert E. Swanson, President of Ridgewood Power. “The Olinda contract and passage of the green power premiums in Massachusetts will provide immediate returns for Ridgewood Power investors. It again demonstrates that our commitment to alternative power generation facilities benefits both the owners of Ridgewood Power trusts and the people living in communities served by our facilities.” The Olinda plant is located at the site of a large landfill in northern Orange County, near Los Angeles, CA. The existing 5.5 MW plant burns about 30 percent of the available methane gas. The balance of the gas is wasted and burned by Orange County in an open flare. In early 2001, Ridgewood Power negotiated an extension and expansion of its right to receive gas from the landfill. At the height of the California energy crisis, Ridgewood commenced to expand the plant immediately by 2.5 MW and planned an additional 7.5 MW expansion. Ridgewood Power worked closely with California regulators and legislators to demonstrate the need for the power and the Company’s expertise through its work on landfill methane projects in Rhode Island, England, Scotland and Spain. On March 4, Ridgewood was advised that the relevant California agencies were ready to enter into an immediate 90-day power purchase agreement for 2.5 MW. In addition, the state is authorized to enter into a 10-year contract for the 2.5 MW that are ready to produce power and the 7.5 MW of additional generation capability that Ridgewood is currently constructing. The 2.5 MW facility is already producing at full capacity and the additional 7.5 MW operation is expected to be online by the summer of 2003. In mid-March, Massachusetts issued its final regulations with respect to qualification for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). They provide for a compulsory percentage of electricity sold in the state to be from Renewable Energy sources and that beginning in 2003 every electric power marketer must have a minimum percentage of qualifying Renewable Energy or pay a significant fine. Ridgewood Power’s Penobscot and Eastport waste woodchip-burning plants in Maine are the largest capacity qualifying facilities in the New England Power Pool and the cleanest biomass plants in New England, according to the company. Although RECs are not required until next January, the financial incentive was made retroactive to the beginning of 2002. All qualifying Renewable Energy produced this year generates RECs that may be carried forward into 2003. Therefore, the economic benefit is immediately available to the Penobscot and Eastport plants. In February, anticipating the enactment of the regulations, Ridgewood negotiated the sale of RECs for 2002 for the Penobscot facility.
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