flag image

SEC to hear final Berlin Station arguments on June 1


June 01, 2011
CONCORD — The state Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) will continue its public adjudicative proceedings and hear closing arguments at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 1, in the main hearing room at the offices of the state Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) and likely begin its deliberations on the merits of the joint motion to transfer and amend the Certificate of Site and Facility issued on Nov. 8, 2010, including making a change its major fuel supply contractor.

On March 9, the joint applicants — Laidlaw Berlin BioPower, LLC, and Berlin Station, LLC — filed a joint motion to amend the Certificate and transfer it to Berlin Station, LLC, and notified the SEC of its intention to change its major fuel contractor to RCT.

The hearing is designed to be a continuation of the adjudicatory hearing begun — but not concluded — on May 18.

The motion and other filings are online at the SEC's website: www.nhsec.nh.gov.

The rocky road to breaking ground at the site of the Burgess Pulp Mill is now subject to additional obstacles.

The NHPUC has suspended the Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) in order to consider appeals for rehearing and to consider whether the proposed PPA, re-filed on May 18 by Public Service Company, complies with the PUC's conditions.

The state's six wood-burning independent power plants (IPPs) — Bridgewater Power Company, L.P., Pinetree Power, Inc., Pinetree Power-Tamworth, Inc., Springfield Power LLC, DG Whitefield, LLC d/b/a Whitefield Power & Light Company, and Indeck Energy-Alexandria, LLC — made the filing.

Jonathan Edwards of Berlin of Edrest Properties LLC of Berlin also filed a motion for a rehearing.

The City of Berlin and PSNH filed objections to the motions for rehearing on May 24. PSNH's in-house attorney, Robert Bersak, argues that the wood-fired IPPs' motion "contains the classic reassertion of prior arguments with a request for a different outcome on one hand, and a mischaracterization of the governing law on the other."

The proposed Berlin Station project is now carries an estimated $228 million price tag, not including interest costs, would consume 700,000 clean woodchips annually, and provide 40 year-round on-site jobs. The plant also has the potential to act as a magnet for other on-site manufacturing plants.

In a surprise move, Jonathan Edwards of Edrest Properties, LLC, sent a request to withdraw as an intervenor on Friday afternoon.

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
Penny Pitou
Thanks for visiting SalmonPress.com