Biomass power plant gains

Plans for a proposed biomass energy plant project in central New Hampshire are moving forward, following a meeting this week between officials from Laidlaw EcoPower LLC, Governor Lynch, members of New Hampshire’s Executive Council and other state environmental and economic development officials.

According to Michael Bartoszek, president and CEO of the company Laidlaw Energy Group Inc., “We met with Governor Lynch and Councilor Ray Burton, both of whom voiced strong support for the project. We hope to move forward expeditiously. The critical thing is understanding the time frame for permitting, but we expect everything to go well and hope to be up and running by 2007.”

Laidlaw EcoPower is a joint venture between Laidlaw Energy and EcoPower LLC that hopes to make upgrades to the combustion system of a non-operating 16-megawatt biomass energy facility in central New Hampshire. Bartoszek declined to give the exact location, citing confidentiality issues at this time.

Bartoszek did say that, once finalized, the proposed project would result in the “cleanest-operating commercial biomass energy plant in the nation.”

The new plant is expected to generate 16 megawatts of gross electric capacity through the use of combustion control equipment and an advanced emissions control system.

The plant also is expected to generate new jobs and other economic benefits for the area, said Bartoszek.

“It will directly create 25 jobs, but there are a significant amount of secondary economic benefits, from the truckers to the people at the corner diner pouring coffee for the truckers – the economic impact will be significant.” – TRACIE STONE

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