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Data requests filed for proposed 75-megawatt Berlin Station project


May 11, 2011
CONCORD — Counsel for the Public Allen Brooks and Peter Roth, both senior assistant attorneys general in the Environmental Protection Bureau of the state Attorney Generals Office, recently filed 29 questions — data requests — in preparation for the adjudicatory hearing of Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18.

Laidlaw-Berlin seeks to transfer its permit, a Certificate for Site and Facility, and must get the SEC's approval for its new ownership structure, an increase in power output from 70 megawatts to 75 megawatts, and a new fuel supply contractor.

All data requests had to be filed by last Wednesday (May 4) with responses due today (May 11).

The lawyers' questions range from asking how much ash will be generated in a facility with higher efficiency and where this waste product will be stored to seeking all drafts of the revised purchase power agreement (PPA) required by the Public Utilities Commission in its conditional approval.

The two attorneys also asked for up-to-date financial information, including forecasts of spending and profit and earnings and losses.

The questions also seek to ascertain how much of the labor force, both during construction and during later operations and ongoing maintenance, would be New Hampshire citizens and what steps are planned "to ensure that use of New Hampshire labor will be maximized."

Counsel for the Public also asked questions about the applicant's proposed use of Richard Carrier Trucking (RCT) for wood fuel supply as a substitute for the previously approved company, Cousineau Forest Products. "The state expects that the applicant will ensure that RCT answers all questions previously posed to Cousineau, either through testimony at the hearing or through pre-filed testimony subject to cross-examination," reads one footnote of the five-page document.

Counsel for the Public also asked that all members of the Laidlaw Advisory Board be identified along with their resumes.

"Do you expect the membership of the Board to change prior to the commencement of commercial operations?" the lawyers asked, followed by the question, "If so, why?"

In other action, The SEC also turned down Thomas Maniscalo of Gorham's request to be an intervener. In his request Maniscalo provided no facts or information establishing that any of his rights, duties, privileges or other substantial interests could be affected by the SEC's proceedings, Committee members ruled.

Jonathan Edwards of Edrest Properties was successful in becoming an intervener, however. In his April filing, Edwards for the first time mentioned that he owned, leased or managed properties within 200 feet of the proposed biomass facility directly on delivery truck routes. At the April 22 hearing testified that he had both partnership interests that could lead to ownership interests in the future on four specific properties, whose addresses he listed.

The City of Berlin remains an intervener.

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
Penny Pitou
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