Laidlaw Energy officially purchases California biomass plant

By Lisa Gibson | June 03, 2011

Laidlaw Energy Group LLC has executed a final purchase and sales agreement to acquire a 14-megawatt biomass power plant in Susanville, Calif.

The idle facility was purchased from Renegy Inc. and Nature Energies Inc, both of which will become equity holders in Laidlaw Energy and will be issued a new class of preferred shares. Laidlaw will invest about $20 million in a 12-month refurbishment to upgrade the equipment and hire a new crew. Startup is expected in early- to mid-2013, according to Lou Bravakis, Laidlaw’s executive vice president, and once operating, the plant will run on low-grade forest residue material.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement and welcome our new business partners,” said Michael Bartoszek, president of Laidlaw Energy. “We look forward to working with them as we advance the Susanville project and hopefully on other potential opportunities in the future.”

The plant will be the company’s first West Coast project and the purchase was tentatively announced in February, although Laidlaw declined to disclose the location of the plant at that time. Bartoszek said the transaction is part of a larger strategy of growth and diversification that Laidlaw has been pursuing for some time. “We have been working to add highly qualified project management personnel to our team so that we have the necessary resources in place to manage multiple projects across the U.S.,” he said.