New Hampshire Biomass Industry Gets A Temporary Lifeline

Biomass markets in New England are having a tough time surviving. Low wholesale power prices, combined with flagging incentives for renewable biomass from states in Southern New England, have left biomass plants throughout the region struggling to continue operations. As markets for low-grade wood—both pulpwood and biomass—have declined in the Northeast, remaining low-grade markets have […]

Biomass markets in New England are having a tough time surviving. Low wholesale power prices, combined with flagging incentives for renewable biomass from states in Southern New England, have left biomass plants throughout the region struggling to continue operations.

As markets for low-grade wood—both pulpwood and biomass—have declined in the Northeast, remaining low-grade markets have become increasingly important. Since 1999, the Northeast has lost 11 pulp mills and since 2014, roughly 4 million tons of market has been lost.

Recognizing the important role biomass plants play in the forest economy, northeastern states have been acting to support continued operations. Last year, Maine allocated nearly $14 million to support continued operations at four biomass plants, attempting to close the gap between two primary factors:

• Operating costs and fuel costs
• The price biomass plants are paid for their power and Renewable Energy Certificates

This year, it was New Hampshire’s turn. The state has six “legacy” biomass plants—all under 20 megawatts in capacity—that were built decades ago. It also has a Seacoast facility that was converted from coal a decade ago, and a new plant at the site of a closed pulp mill in the North Country. These plants represent increasingly important markets for loggers and landowners in the state and region.

From Forest2Market: https://blog.forest2market.com/new-hampshire-biomass-gets-a-temporary-lifeline-but-whats-next

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