Gov. Sununu Signs Bill Extending Subsidy For Berlin Biomass Plant

Jun 27, 2018

Credit Asea / Flikr Creative Commons

Governor Sununu signed a bill on Wednesday that would extend the subsidy for the Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin by three years.

Under a 2011 agreement, Eversource pays Burgess at above-market prices. That's capped at 100 million dollars, but that could be reached sooner than anticipated.

So, with this new bill, the subsidy will continue for three years after hitting the cap. 

Those who opposed this bill argued that those above-market prices would be passed on to customers.

Senator Jeff Woodburn represents the North Country, and he co-sponsored the bill that Gov. Sununu signed into law. He says this is important for Berlin's economy.

'We can't afford to lose anything in the North Country. We're holding on," he said, "specially those jobs where people  that do the nitty, gritty, dirty work out in the woods, fixing things, making things, producing things. Their dollars are instantly into the community. They circulate quickly in the community."

But Woodburn also pointed out it's a small step, pointing to the length of the extension.

"We would appreciate stability, longer term committments would make it better," he said."In the North Country, we want major change, but we're also happy to get crubms.

This comes on the heels of the Governor's veto of two energy bills earlier this month. One was related to net-metering and another that would have required utilities to use more biomass.