The Valley News reports that a Maine firm called Stored Solar has bought wood-burning power plants in New Hampshire that have shut down because their electricity is too expensive to compete in the deregulated market.
The whole story is here.
It’s a good story that emphasizes the financial uncertainty: Nobody knows how they’ll make money and they won’t say, although I would guess that, like the Merrimack Valley coal plant, they’re counting on payments from the capacity auction. In general, burning wood only to produce electricity can’t compete against cheap electricity from renewables and natural gas; it takes a combined-heat-and-power (CHP) operation, which also uses the waste heat, to be financially viable. New Hampshire’s old biomass plants are too far from industry to be easily turned into CHP.
The reporter John Lippman also does something some of us wouldn’t think of doing: He explains the company’s potentially confusing name:
the “stored” in the company’s name refers to what the company calls the “stored solar energy” in biomass and not solar-powered technology