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July 21, 2014

Athens biomass plant could get $12M tax break

A biomass facility in Athens is now eligible for more than $12 million in state tax credits after receiving certifications from the Finance Authority of Maine that will help spur $30.3 million in investments and assist with creating and retaining over 200 jobs.

FAME's Board of Directors voted on July 17 to certify the facility's applications for the Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program, which makes it eligible to receive state tax credits of up to 39% for the investments, the agency announced. The facility won't receive the tax credits until the actual investments are made.

The facility is run by Athens Energy LLC, a sister company of the Maine Woods Pellet Company, which runs a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Athens.

The proposed $30.3 million in investments are expected to come from three subsidiaries of CCG Community Partners LLC, an affiliate of boutique investment firm CityScape Capital Group that focuses on investment opportunities within low-income communities. The investments are also eligible for the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program.

Beyond helping Athens Energy with the construction and equipping of a biomass electricity generator, the investments will also help Maine Woods Pellet Company expand its facility, the agency said in its announcement.

"FAME's certification of these projects is an important step to spur further investment in this Maine-based business," Paul Hoffman, managing director of CCG Community Partners, said in a statement. "The expected tax credits will not only help create jobs directly at these sites. They should also encourage other business development in the surrounding communities."

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