Fort Fairfield, ME – In honor of the fifth Annual National Bioenergy Day, ReEnergy Holdings LLC (ReEnergy) today held an Open House at its Fort Fairfield facility. At the event, ReEnergy Chief Executive Officer Larry D. Richardson made a formal announcement that ReEnergy was partnering with Biobased Maine to request proposals from companies wishing to co-locate at one or more of ReEnergy’s four biomass-to-electricity facilities in Maine.
ReEnergy owns and operates four utility-scale renewable energy generating facilities in Maine (a 39-megawatt biomass facility in Ashland; a 39-megawatt biomass facility in Livermore Falls; a 37-megawatt biomass facility in Fort Fairfield; and a 48-megawatt biomass facility in Stratton.) These facilities use locally sourced, sustainably harvested, forest-derived woody biomass as fuel, in addition to woody biomass that is residue from mill operations. Each ReEnergy facility is capable of operating as part of a Combined Heat and Power platform: Each is adjacent to undeveloped land that is available for lease or sale, and companies locating on those parcels could make use of affordable electricity and/or steam generated by ReEnergy’s facility.
ReEnergy’s biomass power plants are capable of delivering cost-effective thermal energy (steam, hot water), electricity and CO2 to an industry or industries located on adjacent property. Energy costs for an entity locating at this site will be more competitive than market-rate energy, since electricity and steam supply from ReEnergy’s facilities should result in avoided capital and maintenance costs, avoided electrical transmission and distribution costs, and the ability to enter into a long-term agreement to hedge market price risk.
“Since we became a Maine corporate citizen in 2011, we have deployed more than $500 million in capital and operating expenses in our Maine assets, and we wish to increase that commitment. We believe our biomass-to-electricity facilities represent critical economic development tools,” Richardson said. “Many logging companies and mills count on our facilities for their continued viability, and we firmly believe that our biomass assets represent a critical economic development tool, as each of our power facilities is located adjacent to at least one large tract of undeveloped land and each could provide affordable electricity, thermal energy and other infrastructure support to a co-located industry. We appreciate the policy support that our sector has received from the State of Maine, and we are working to ensure that our facilities can be a catalyst for the development of new complementary industries. We are engaged in aggressive efforts to ensure long-term viability of our assets in Maine.”
Charlotte Mace, executive director of Biobased Maine, said: “We’re excited for this partnership with ReEnergy, which can lead to more good jobs for rural Maine. Maine’s forest industry is still strong, viable, and well-positioned to seek partnerships with emerging technologies. The time is right to use Maine wood that currently lacks markets to manufacture next-generation products the world is demanding.”
ReEnergy is one of the largest biomass power companies in the United States, with 245 megawatts of installed renewable energy generation capacity. ReEnergy’s four biomass power plants in Maine generate enough power to supply 154,000 homes and support approximately 100 direct jobs and an estimated 700 indirect jobs. The facilities serve as a critical market for residue from logging and mill operations.
ReEnergy employs approximately 100 people in Maine and supports an estimated 700 indirect jobs. When operating at full capacity, ReEnergy’s four biomass power facilities in Maine together spend approximately $90 million per year in operating expenses, much of which is used to pay for the purchase of fuel from more than 80 local logging contractors and approximately 20 mills, including sawmills, chip mills, pellet mills, and pulp/paper mills.
All of ReEnergy’s biomass power plants have achieved certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Standard, which verifies that the facility’s biomass procurement program promotes land stewardship and responsible forestry practices. ReEnergy is the first company solely devoted to electricity production to be certified to the SFI Standard. To find out more, visit www.reenergyholdings.com.
About Biobased Maine:
Biobased Maine is a trade organization committed to advancing biobased manufacturing in Maine. Many of its member companies are already making biobased products from renewable materials. Biobased Maine’s goal is to build a critical mass for biobased manufacturing in Maine, which will result in job growth, greener products, and a sustainable economy. To find out more, visit www.biobasedmaine.org.
About National Bioenergy Day:
Bioenergy is electricity and heat generated from wood and other organic materials. In 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association, approximately 22% of all renewable energy consumed was from wood – more than wind and solar and second only to hydroelectric energy.
ReEnergy Fort Fairfield was one of more than 50 organizations that took part in National Bioenergy Day activities across the United States and Canada that were held to raise awareness about bioenergy and its significant economic and environmental benefits. “Bioenergy contributes a great deal to our local economy and helps keep forests as forests. It enhances forest health and supports jobs in the forest industry,” said Bob Cleaves, a lifelong Mainer who serves as president of the national Biomass Power Association. “We employ local residents and generate clean energy from materials that would otherwise be discarded. National Bioenergy Day gives people an opportunity to see what we do firsthand and learn more about bioenergy.” To learn more, please visit www.bioenergyday.org.