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October 19, 2017

ReEnergy issues RFP with enticement of cheaper electricity rates

Courtesy / ReEnergy Holdings LLC
Courtesy / ReEnergy Holdings LLC
A view of ReEnergy Holdings LLC's biomass-to-electricity facility in Fort Fairfield, one of four biomass plants owned by the company in Maine. On Wednesday, ReEnergy and Biobased Maine announced an RFP seeking proposals from companies that might be interested in co-locating at one or more of ReEnergy's plants.

About ReEnergy and Biobased Maine

ReEnergy Holdings LLC is one of the largest biomass power companies in the United States, with 245 megawatts of installed renewable energy generation capacity. Its four biomass power plants in Maine generate enough power to supply electricity to 154,000 homes and support approximately 100 direct jobs and an estimated 700 indirect jobs.

The facilities serve as a critical market for residue from logging and mill operations. When operating at full capacity, ReEnergy's four biomass power facilities in Maine together spend approximately $90 million per year in operating expenses, much of which is used to pay for the purchase of fuel from more than 80 local logging contractors and approximately 20 mills, including sawmills, chip mills, pellet mills, and pulp/paper mills.

All of ReEnergy's biomass power plants have achieved certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative standard, which verifies that the facility's biomass procurement program promotes land stewardship and responsible forestry practices. ReEnergy is the first company solely devoted to electricity production to be certified to the SFI standard.

Biobased Maine is a trade organization committed to advancing biobased manufacturing in Maine. Many of its member companies are already making biobased products from renewable materials. Biobased Maine's goal is to build a critical mass for biobased manufacturing in Maine, which will result in job growth, greener products, and a sustainable economy.

ReEnergy Holdings LLC is partnering with Biobased Maine to request proposals from companies to co-locate at one or more of ReEnergy's four biomass-to-electricity facilities in Maine.

The RFP, which was announced Wednesday at ReEnergy's Fort Fairfield facility during its celebration of the fifth annual National Bioenergy Day, has a deadline of Nov. 30.

ReEnergy — one of the largest biomass power companies in the United States with 245 megawatts of installed renewable energy generation capacity — owns and operates four utility-scale renewable energy generating facilities in Maine:

  • Ashland, 39-megawatt biomass facility
  • Livermore Falls, 39MW
  • Fort Fairfield, 37MW
  • Stratton, 48MW.

Each facility uses as fuel locally sourced and sustainably harvested wood biomass from Maine forests and from mill operations and is capable of delivering cost-effective thermal energy (steam, hot water), electricity and CO2 to an industry or industries located on adjacent undeveloped land that is available for lease or sale.

"Energy costs for an entity locating at this site will be more competitive than market-rate energy, since electricity and steam supply from ReEnergy's facilities should result in avoided capital and maintenance costs, avoided electrical transmission and distribution costs, and the ability to enter into a long-term agreement to hedge market price risk," ReEnergy stated in a news release.

Doubling down on its Maine investments

ReEnergy CEO Larry D. Richardson said the company has spent "more than $500 million in capital and operating expenses" in the four Maine facilities since purchasing them in 2011. "We wish to increase that commitment," he said. "We believe our biomass-to-electricity facilities represent critical economic development tools. Many logging companies and mills count on our facilities for their continued viability, and we firmly believe that our biomass assets represent a critical economic development tool, as each of our power facilities is located adjacent to at least one large tract of undeveloped land and each could provide affordable electricity, thermal energy and other infrastructure support to a co-located industry."

Richardson also expressed appreciation for "the policy support that our sector has received from the State of Maine, and we are working to ensure that our facilities can be a catalyst for the development of new complementary industries. We are engaged in aggressive efforts to ensure long-term viability of our assets in Maine."

Biobased Maine a partner in RFP

Charlotte Mace, executive director of Biobased Maine, a Portland-based trade organization committed to advancing biobased manufacturing in Maine, sees the RFP as an opportunity to create "more good jobs for rural Maine."

"Maine's forest industry is still strong, viable, and well-positioned to seek partnerships with emerging technologies," she said in a news release. "The time is right to use Maine wood that currently lacks markets to manufacture next-generation products the world is demanding."

Proposals are due by Nov. 30 and ReEnergy hopes to select partner companies by the end of the year.

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ReEnergy Holdings LLC's RFP

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