Burgess BioPower sent 1st electricity onto Grid on Oct. 25

December 04, 2013
BERLIN — "The Burgess BioPower facility has successfully generated and transmitted power over the grid," managing director Alexander Ritchie of Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth reported over Thanksgiving week. "The project first delivered power to the grid on October 25. We are continuing our commissioning and testing phase and expect to be in commercial operations in December."

When asked whether there would be public occasion to make the end of the construction phase of the $275 million project that can generate up to 75 megawatts, Ritchie replied, "We do plan on having a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the milestone of the facility entering operations, but will most likely wait until early spring when the weather is a little kinder."

A groundbreaking ceremony that included then-Gov. John Lynch, then-DRED commissioner George Bald who now works for Cate Street, then-PSNH president Gary Long, Mayor Paul Grenier and Cate Street president and CEO John Halle was held on Oct. 6, 2011, under bright skies on the East Side of the Androscoggin River.

"The construction of this new biomass power plant will bring jobs to the North Country, and increase the amount of renewable energy used in New Hampshire. I am pleased we were all able to work together – Cate Street Capital, PSNH, local, and state officials – so that we can break ground on this facility, which will be a real economic benefit to the North Country," Gov. John Lynch said at the ceremony, that was followed by a barbecue.

Burgess BioPower has a 20-year agreement to sell its power to Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) on property that formerly was part of the Fraser Papers pulp mill that was shuttered in 2006. The biomass plant will burn some 750,000 tons of low-grade wood chips a year, supporting several hundred jobs for foresters, loggers, chippers and haulers that are expected to pump approximately $25 million every year into the North Country's economy.

Hallé, Bald and others at Cate Street are seeking to identify manufacturing companies that could benefit from co-locating their operations adjacent to the power plant to take advantage of economic and energy synergies.

Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co., Inc. (BWCC), a Babcock & Wilcox Company, was awarded the contract to engineer, procure and construct (EPC) Burgess BioPower. A subsidiary of Delta Power Services, LLC, a B&W company, was awarded a separate six-year contract worth more than $19 million to provide operations and maintenance services (O&M) for the plant.

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