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December 14, 2016

PUC approves biomass subsidy for four facilities

A total of $13.4 million in subsidies will be shared to restart two plants in Penobscot and Washington counties sold by former owner Covanta to Stored Solar, as well as to boost generators owned by ReEnergy in Aroostook.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously accepted the bids from ReEnergy Holdings and Stored Solar, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Stored Solar on Nov. 17 notified federal regulators that it completed buying the former Covanta plants on Oct. 18. It filed an application seeking to restart operations and sell into the regional wholesale market as early as this month, but regulators have not ruled on that request yet, the BDN said. Covanta closed the plants in March and April.

The newspaper said the December newsletter of the Forest Resources Association said that Stored Solar had started buying wood fuel at both plants, which company officials said they would restart by the end of this month.

When Covanta’s plants were closed, it looked earlier in the year like ReEnergy would be the only bidder, but regulators told the BDN Tuesday they got multiple bids. Regulators indicated both companies would equally split the $13.4 million subsidy, which is to be transferred to the PUC from the state’s general fund.

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