Concord Steam sells final MW, ready for project funding

By Lisa Gibson | November 14, 2011

The remaining four megawatts (MW) to be produced from a proposed 17-MW biomass power plant in Concord, N.H., will be sold to Halifax American Energy Co., clearing the way for developer Concord Steam to receive funding for the $80 million project.

Concord Steam plans to relocate its current wood-burning facility from the city’s Pleasant Street to South Main Street, following the expiration of its power purchase agreement with Public Service New Hampshire. Before funding could be secured for the new plant, the company was required to sell the electricity it anticipates generating. Both the New Hampshire Executive Council and the Concord City Council signed 10-year agreements to purchase electricity through South Jersey Energy, a partner of HAEC. The other 13 MW have been sold to other utilities.

Concord Steam provides district heating for the downtown Concord, replacing 12 million gallons of imported fossil fuels and sending more than $8 million back to the local forest industry.

“We participated because we felt we could give the best deal to the city and the state,” said August Fromuth, HAEC founder and managing director. “Because our contract for the electricity generated by the new plant involves some direct-to-grid features that will work o keep incidental costs low, both governments will realize great savings. That’s where our expertise and experience will pay off.”

Formuth added that the plant represents a new direction all of New Hampshire should be going, working with an energy generator that produces both heat and power with cost effectiveness and certainty for 10 years, and no government subsidies.

“This plant will produce both low-carbon emission steam and electricity from a renewable resource that provides additional New Hampshire jobs and saves money for the state and its capital,” he said.