Maine plan for wood-fired power plants draws praise and skepticism – Energy News Network

by | Jun 2, 2022 | Energy

Every morning, the Energy News Network compiles the top stories about the clean energy transition and delivers them to your inbox for free. Sign up today!

A new law encouraging the development of wood-fired combined heat and power plants in Maine is drawing praise for its potential to benefit the economy and the environment.

But some climate activists are skeptical, saying questions remain about whether the program will cut carbon emissions as intended. 

The legislation, signed by Gov. Janet Mills in April, establishes a program to commission projects that will burn wood to create electricity and also capture the heat produced for use on-site — heat that would go to waste in a conventional power plant.

Proposals for these facilities are expected to come from forestry or forest products businesses that could use their own wood byproducts to fuel the plants, saving them money on heat and electricity costs and providing an extra revenue stream when excess power is sold back into the grid.

“It’s renewable energy that is produced by local loggers and providing jobs for our local community,” said James Robbins, president of Robbins Lumber in Searsport, Maine, which has operated its own combined heat and power plant since 2018. 

Help us create a new weekly newsletter!

The Energy News Network is working to expand our newsletter offerings, and we’d like your help. Your responses to this survey will help us understand how to serve you better as we work to develop a weekly energy newsletter.

Supporters like Robbins say these facilities will uplift struggling sectors of the economy while helping reach the goals of Maine’s climate plan, which calls for the state to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. Some environmental activists, however, doubt that wood can ever be an efficient fuel and worry that these projects will in fact increase carbon emissions. 

“This is really an economic development tool to help prop up mills and not a climate solution,” said Greg Cunningham, director of the clean energy an …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This