Berlin biomass plant wins air permit

Concord-based Clean Power Development said Monday it has obtained an air permit to operate a planned biomass plant in Berlin.

According to Clean Power, the state Department of Environmental Services determined that the plan met the standard of the lowest possible emission rate. Not a single comment was received from the public, according to the company.

That leaves two hurdles for the company to clear before it they can start to build the plant, according to the company’s development project manager, Bill Gabler — a wetlands permit and an agreement with a utility to purchase power.

Gabler said that the firm approached Public Service of New Hampshire as a buyer of its power and is also exploring other options in Vermont and Connecticut.

If the plant is built it would be the last additional power source to transmit electricity though the Coos County loop before a major upgrade is required to allow other proposed North Country power plants to transmit their electricity.

Last week, the company announced that ISO New England, which regulates the regional grid, said the loop could handle its additional 29 megawatts.

Clean Power is next in line to Granite Reliable Power, a subsidiary of Noble Environmental Power, which wants to build a 33-turbine, 99-megawatt wind farm in Millsfield and Dixville Notch.

Clean Power had been hoping to build a 45-megawatt plant but downsized it, citing both the lack of available local wood as well as the limited capacity of the transmission line.

In line behind Clean Power is Laidlaw Energy Group, which wants to build a 66-megawatt biomass plant, also in Berlin. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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