December 5, 2006

New Hampshire Renewable Power Plant Burns Wood Chips

New technology boilers will contribute to the production of energy while greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions symptomatic of the older boilers they replace. They will be financed in part by earning renewable energy certificates that can be traded.

Central to the concept of certificates is the idea that the 'environmental attributes' of renewable energy can be 'unbundled' from the energy itself, and traded independently: the attributes = certificates. By allowing the ‘green’ attributes of renewable energy to be treated separately, certificates allow electricity suppliers to purchase just the attributes of electricity generated elsewhere. If the state permits it, the supplier might be able to fulfill part or all of its portfolio requirements by purchasing certificates. In this way, certificates increase the efficiency and liquidity of the market. – Evolution Markets, Inc.

Evidence of this new trend comes from Public Service of New Hampshire, the state's largest electricity utility. Below is their recent press release.

PSNH Renewable Power Plant Burns Wood Chips

One of the nation’s largest new renewable energy projects is now in service in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, producing power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the state through the burning of wood chips. The $75 million “Northern Wood Power Project,” located at Public Service of New Hampshire’s Schiller Station, has permanently replaced a 50 megawatt coal boiler with a state-of-the-art wood-burning boiler of the same size. As a result, air emissions at the power plant are expected to be reduced by more than 380,000 tons annually through the burning of clean wood chips.

“The dramatic emission reductions from this facility will help us satisfy the strict requirements of the New Hampshire Clean Power Act,” noted Gary Long, PSNH president and chief operating officer. “Furthermore, we are able to make this improvement while still maintaining some of the lowest energy rates in the region.”

Because it is a new renewable energy project, the PSNH facility will produce more than 300,000 “renewable energy certificates” annually. Revenue from the sale of the certificates to regional energy suppliers seeking to satisfy renewable energy requirements will be used to offset the project’s capital costs.

The new boiler is expected to annually consume more than 400,000 tons of wood, most of which will come from suppliers in the Granite State. The use of local wood supply was a key goal of PSNH and the New Hampshire Timberland Owner’s Association, an early supporter of the project, and will help bolster the state’s economy and advance good forestry practices.

“Our thanks go out to the Timberland Owner’s Association, as well as the City of Portsmouth and the Town of Newington,” said Long. “We could not have succeeded without the support they provided, as well as the support of many others, including the Audubon Society of New Hampshire and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.”

Construction of the Northern Wood Power Project began in October 2004, following a rigorous review by state regulators and by planning boards in Portsmouth and Newington. The project’s primary components include a 110-foot high boiler, equivalent to a nine-story building, a wood-fuel delivery system, and a large wood storage facility, capable of holding about 10,000 tons of wood chips. Additional information on the project is available at

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The $75 million Northern Wood Power Project, one of New Hampshire's larger renewable energy projects, is now in service in Portsmouth, producing power through burning wood chips. The new boiler is expected to annually consume more than 400,000 tons of wood, most of which will come from suppliers in the Granite State.



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