Quantcast

Ayotte tours biomass plant construction in NH's North Country - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Ayotte tours biomass plant construction in NH's North Country

Posted: Updated:
BERLIN, N.H. -

Sen. Kelly Ayotte surveyed work Wednesday at what will soon be a new biomass plant in Berlin, N.H. It's a project that's turning a defunct paper mill into an energy source.

"It's wonderful to see that it is also going to be a great source of renewable power," said Ayotte, R-New Hampshire.

On this day, there are more than 500 workers piecing together the plant. It's owned by Cate Street Capital, an investment firm that specializes in renewables.

"It's really a big infusion into the forest industry that has really been impacted over the last couple of years or the last decade," said Alex Ritchie of Cate Street Capital.

And Main Street has felt that impact as paper mills in Berlin and surrounding towns fell by the wayside. But new life means new money for a community that was built around the logging industry.

"It's encouraging to see all the new people in town between the biomass plant and the prisons," said Rachel Eastman of Berlin, N.H.

Earlier in the day, Ayotte met with medical staff at Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Berlin's largest employer. The facility is used to weathering the uncertain economic times, but recently, it took a big hit-- more than $400,000 in federal cuts-- a source of frustration for those trying to look to the future.

"With sequester as an example, we didn't know until the night before it went into effect. And that is something that hampers our ability to effectively deal with change," said Russell Keene of Androscoggin Valley Hospital.

In this region, change is coming-- machines moving equipment, a single stack getting ready to smoke. But more work lies ahead.

"Full broadband internet access throughout the area the North Country. I think that would also help spur economic development and jobs in the area," Ayotte said.

Around 30-40 people will run the plant when it's online, burning 750,000 tons of woods annually. And if you think that's a big number, the project price tag is even bigger.

"Two hundred and seventy-five million dollar undertaking. It's huge," Ritchie said.

The plant is expected to be online by the end of this year and when it is operating at full capacity, 100 logging trucks will be rolling in and out of this facility every single day, meaning "the city that the trees built" will be staying true to its name.

Ayotte also visited the paper mill in Gorham and an assisted living community in Whitefield.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Woman accused in Brookfield hit-and-run

    Woman accused in Brookfield hit-and-run

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:39:53 GMT
    Police say a woman was doing donuts in her soon-to-be-ex-husband's driveway in the moments before she caused a crash.
    Police say a woman was doing donuts in her soon-to-be-ex-husband's driveway in the moments before she caused a crash.
  • Police look for flasher in Lyndonville

    Police look for flasher in Lyndonville

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:42 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:42:02 GMT
    Police are warning women in Lyndonville to be alert after a man who still hasn't been caught exposed himself.
    Police are warning women in Lyndonville to be alert after a man who still hasn't been caught exposed himself.
  • 4 hurt in 2-vehicle crash in South Burlington

    4 hurt in 2-vehicle crash in South Burlington

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:08:30 GMT
    Police are investigating a two-vehicle crash in South Burlington, Vermont, that injured four people.
    Police are investigating a two-vehicle crash in South Burlington, Vermont, that injured four people.
  • Vermont Interstate 91 closed for possible gas leak

    Vermont Interstate 91 closed for possible gas leak

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:58 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:58:50 GMT
    Vermont State Police say both lanes of Interstate 91 are closed between Exits 4 and 5 in Putney because of a possible propane leak at an interstate truck weighing station.
    Vermont State Police say both lanes of Interstate 91 are closed between Exits 4 and 5 in Putney because of a possible propane leak at an interstate truck weighing station.
  • Canvassing committee meets Tuesday on election

    Canvassing committee meets Tuesday on election

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:10:54 GMT
    A canvassing committee is set to gather at the secretary of state's office to make results from this past week's primary elections official.
    A canvassing committee is set to gather at the secretary of state's office to make results from this past week's primary elections official.
  • GMP and NRG to talk energy

    GMP and NRG to talk energy

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:13 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:13:27 GMT
    Officials from Vermont's largest utility and a national renewable energy company are going to announce plans for a project that they say would make the state as a leader in the movement toward cost-effective sustainable energy solutions.
    Officials from Vermont's largest utility and a national renewable energy company are going to announce plans for a project that they say would make the state as a leader in the movement toward cost-effective sustainable energy solutions.
  • NH man killed in Lunenburg crash

    NH man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:29 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:29:30 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor-trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor-trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • Burlington College president resigns

    Burlington College president resigns

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:33:10 GMT
    The president of Burlington College told student protesters Friday; the school has now confirmed Christine Plunkett is out.
    The president of Burlington College told student protesters Friday; the school has now confirmed Christine Plunkett is out.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.