Date: September 24, 2010
Source: Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc.
Renewable-energy developer Laidlaw Energy Group said it received approval from the NH Site Evaluation Committee to convert an idled paper mill into a 70-MW biomass electric generating facility in Berlin, NH. The state approved the $170 million plan on the condition Laidlaw have a 20-year agreement in place to sell the electricity to the Public Service Company of New Hampshire.
The approval also came subject to numerous other conditions, including: limits on noise, truck traffic and dust from the plant, and, require a signed wood supply agreement with Cousineau Forest Products, an operations agreement with Homeland Renewable, an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction agreement with Babcox and Wilcox, and a wood harvesting sustainability agreement negotiated with the Counsel for the Public.
Sept. 23, 2010, 11:12 a.m. EDT
NH Site Evaluation Committee Approves Laidlaw Permit Application for 70 MW Biomass Facility
Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc. (Ticker "LLEG") announced today that the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee yesterday unanimously approved Laidlaw Berlin BioPower's application to construct and operate a 70-megawatt biomass plant in Berlin.
The approval comes with a large number of conditions, including a list of stipulations negotiated between the city and Laidlaw. SEC Attorney Michael Iacopino said other conditions include a signed wood supply agreement with Cousineau Forest Products, an operations agreement with Homeland Renewable, an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction agreement with Babcox and Wilcox, and a wood harvesting sustainability agreement negotiated with the Counsel for the Public. The state Public Utilities Commission must also approve the 20-year power purchase agreement between Laidlaw and Public Service of N.H. A written certificate of site and facility will be issued by Oct. 22.
The 9-member committee deliberated for two full days following a nine month procedure that included a 900-page application, a public hearing and site visit in Berlin, two technical sessions, and six days of adversarial hearings. The committee had until Sept. 23 to make a decision on the application.
Laidlaw CEO Michael Bartoszek thanked the committee and praised the community for supporting the project. "As befits a project of this scale and importance, our application was long and complex, and the committee is to be congratulated on its thorough review within its statutorily-mandated deadline. This was no easy task, but the citizens of New Hampshire can be confident that our project has been subject to the highest degree of scrutiny to ensure that this will be a safe and reliable source of clean energy for decades to come," Bartoszek said in an e-mail.
He also recognized the support the project received from many area residents. "We could not have come all this way without the tremendous support of the citizens of Berlin and the business, political and community leaders of the North Country, as well as many of our other supporters around the state," Bartoszek said. He said the construction and operation of the biomass plant will create jobs and in addition there will be hundreds of indirect jobs created in the forest industry. "This project will help revitalize the Berlin area economy by using what is already there, from the site itself to the ample supply of natural resources. Berlin truly is "The City that Trees Built", and we look forward to being part of that legacy," Bartoszek said.
The SEC decision was cheered by Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier, who made his support for the project the centerpiece of his successful campaign for mayor. "I think the Laidlaw news is fantastic for Berlin," he said. Grenier said the project will provide needed jobs for the region and tax revenues for the city. He said a large piece of land that is an eyesore will be turned into a viable industrial site. Grenier pointed to the agreement reached between the city and Laidlaw that calls for the company to develop a river walk and sets limits on noise, truck traffic, and dust from the plant. He said there is also the possibility of $2.25 million in New Market Tax Credits to set up a revolving loan fund for the forest industry and $500,000 for a community project. "I think the city has got one helluva deal out of this whole project," he said. The mayor called on opponents of the Laidlaw project to stop their opposition and work together to improve the local economy. Grenier said now that the project has SEC approval, continuing to fight it will only delay much needed jobs for the region.
About Laidlaw Energy Group
Laidlaw Energy is engaged in the development of independent power plants that generate electricity from renewable resources, with a particular emphasis on biomass power. Laidlaw Energy's mission is to build and manage a profitable portfolio of biomass facilities through the development of new facilities and acquisition of existing facilities, and in so doing become the leading supplier of biomass power in the United States. Laidlaw Energy is headquartered in New York, New York. For more information, please visit our website at www.LaidlawEnergy.com.
This communication contains statements expressing expectations of future events and/or results which may include, without limitation, statements concerning anticipated financial performance, business prospects, technological developments, potential markets, new products, research and development activities and similar matters. Such statements constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements based on future expectations rather than historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and Laidlaw cannot provide assurance that such statements will prove to be correct. Laidlaw undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
To for more information, contact:
Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc.
Michael B. Bartoszek, 212-480-9884
President & CEO