Monday, June 1, 2009

Electricity in New Hampshire

There's lots of activity on the electric power generation front in New Hampshire.  Much of it involves construction of new renewable energy projects such as wind and biomass plants.   Last year, a  24 megawatt project called Lempster Wind went online.  Recently, the proposed 99 megawatt Coos County Wind project cleared one of its last regulatory hurdles.  In Berlin, two biomass projects are in the works.  The Laidlaw plant will to convert the abandoned Fraser Paper Mill in Berlin into a 65 megawatt biomass generation facility, while Clean Power Development plans to construct a 22-27 megawatt biomass plant, also in Berlin. 

To the already rich mix above, we add PSNH, which was ordered to divest itself of power generation plants as part of NH's electric power deregulation plan, but still owns several grandfathered legacy plants including hydropower and biomass plants, as well as traditional coal, gas, and oil plants.

On the surface, all these plants and projects seem to be independently humming along,working together to assure a robust energy future for New Hampshire.  Under the surface though, power production in NH is a complex jumble of competing interests and intertwined dependencies.

In future posts, I'll try to unravel some of the tangles of New Hampshire's complicated electric power generation story.

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