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Ten years ago, then-PSNH began operating Northern Wood Power, replacing a 50-megawatt coal-burning boiler (one of three at the Schiller plant in Portsmouth) with one that burns wood chips and other wood byproducts, replacing some 130,000 tons of coal annually.

I covered it extensively, as it seemed to be the start of a trend: More biomass electricity production in tree-rich northern New England. But that was before fracking led to the natural gas boom, which has throttled most other fuel sources, including large-scale biomass.

Still, Northern Wood Power is chugging along and while there is debate about how “green” biomass electricity actually is, nobody can deny that it’s better than coal-fired electricity.


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