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Clean Power moves forward on land purchase

November 04, 2009
BERLIN — Clean Power Development sent the city official notification on Friday, of the company's intention to purchase approximately 11 acres next to the waste water treatment facility. The notification included a check for for $5,000, or 10 percent of the agreed purchase price.

CPD sent the notice to the city so their intentions would be clear, CPD Project Manager Bill Gabler said. It was a direct response to what he heard at the mayoral debate last Wednesday.

"That definitely highlighted the fact people don't understand what we're doing," he said.

CPD was collecting documents to move forward with the sale last week, Mr. Gabler said, but they hadn't made an official notification yet. This will hopefully address one of the concerns raised by Paul Grenier at the debate, he said, referring to Mr. Grenier's statement that CPD does not pay taxes in Berlin while Laidlaw does.

The other concern Mr. Grenier raised about CPD was the effect trucks would have running through residential neighborhoods on the East Side to bring wood to the plant.

"That was all addressed during the planning board process," Mr. Gabler said. "Trucks will not go through that neighborhood."

Instead, he said, traffic will come in directly from Hutchins Street on roads CPD will pay to build. The issue was discussed and resolved with the city months ago, he said.

CPD is still in need of a long term purchase power agreement to find financing for their project. They have a complaint before the Public Utilities Commission about Public Service of New Hampshire, which CPD says has treated them unfairly.

But CPD is moving forward with their project in Berlin. The official notification they sent to the city on Friday requires the two parties close on the deal within 30 days. The total purchase price is $50,000, which was established by an independent appraisal in May.

CPD has also announced other companies are looking to share the site with them, to use either electricity or heat generated by the plant. One of the companies, Simply Green, is a biodiesel producer from Portsmouth. They would use heat from the plant to keep their diesel fuel made from waste vegetable oil from gelling at cold temperatures. Another company, Baetel Corportation, wants to use nutrients from the waste water treatment facility and heat, carbon dioxide and electricity from the CPD plant to grow algae in silos. The algae can then be used to make biodiesel and sold as feed. It could also be burned in the plant, but Mel Liston, president of CPD, said the plant isn't permitted to burn anything other than wood at this point.

Mr. Liston said he didn't have a number of how many additional jobs these partnership projects would generate.

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