New York [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc. and its partners have formed Laidlaw Berlin, LLC and invested $1 million in equity capital to purchase the former Fraser Paper Mill from North American Dismantling, Inc. and turn it into a biomass-energy power plant.
The acquisition is expected to close within the next several months, with the reconfigured Berlin biomass-energy facility expected to commence operations in late 2008 or early 2009.
The mill, which closed in May 2006, has significant infrastructure in place that is suitable for biomass energy, including a large Babcock & Wilcox boiler that was installed in 1993 at a cost of nearly $100 million. It is expected that the boiler could support up to a 70-megawatt (MW) biomass-energy plant, depending upon the specifications of the steam turbine generators that are ultimately chosen.
The Berlin facility is located in the heavily forested Northern, New Hampshire area, which makes it ideally positioned to take advantage of the area’s abundant biomass resources. The newly reconfigured plant will use more than 650,000 tons of biomass per year, creating and sustaining approximately 500 local jobs.
Emissions from the biomass-energy facility will be maintained at an unprecedented low level through the use of highly advanced emissions controls that are expected to enable the plant to qualify for the sale of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) under the newly enacted Renewable Portfolio Standard program in New Hampshire, as well as other renewable energy programs of various neighboring states in the Northeast.
“Our vision for this site,” said Laidlaw Energy President and CEO Michael B. Bartoszek, “is called the Berlin Bio-Commerce Park, whereby we bring together homegrown resources to fuel not only one of the largest and most environmentally advanced power generation facilities in the United States, but also to attract new green manufacturing businesses to the region to take advantage of this low cost source of energy.”