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Joyce Endee

PSNH will soon file revised Laidlaw Purchase Power Agreement


May 04, 2011
BERLIN — Public Service of New Hampshire is nearly ready to file a modified purchase power agreement (PPA) between Public Service of N.H. and Laidlaw Berlin BioPower-Berlin Station that is designed to meet the requirements that the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) imposed under its conditional approval of the one that PSNH originally proposed.

A Berlin native — Paul Ramsey — has led the effort to modify the agreement, according to John Halle of Cate Capital of Portsmouth who represents major investors in the Laidlaw project. A UNH graduate who earned a B.S. in Business and later an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, Ramsey is Vice President of Energy Delivery for PSNH, a subsidiary of the Northeast Utilities System (NU).

The agreement as originally filed was not in the public interest, the PUC's order stated, pointing out that the PPA could cost as much at $2 billion over its 20-year life.

The PUC ruled that it "would, however, approve a modified PPA complying with certain conditions that (would) mitigate risk to PSNH's default service customers and reduce total payments to approximately $1.3 billion over the term of the PPA."

Halle said that Cate Capital has worked closely with Ramsey and other PSNH staff and is confident that the new filing will meet the PUC's conditions and that the project will be able to move forward.

Other modifications requested by Laidlaw are now pending before the state Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). A final hearing on Laidlaw's request to transfer and amend its permit is tentatively scheduled for either May 18 or 19.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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