Governor Congratulates ReEnergy on Restart of Biomass Plant in Ashland
August 4, 2014
For Immediate Release: Monday, August 04, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
Doug Ray, DECD Communications Director, 207-624-9802
AUGUSTA – As a result of ReEnergy’s decision to restart its biomass-to-electricity plant in Ashland twenty-five new jobs are coming to Aroostook County. Governor Paul R. LePage today offered his congratulations to the company.
“This is terrific news for Aroostook County,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I thank ReEnergy for their investment and congratulate them on the decision to restart operations. My team has worked proactively with ReEnergy over the last few years in an effort to get where we are today. This is what happens when government partners with the private sector in efforts to improve our economy for the benefit of all Mainers. ReEnergy’s decision is further proof Maine’s economy is headed in the right direction.”
ReEnergy ceased operations in 2011 due to market conditions, but is planning to restart the plant as early as this December. According to the company, the restart is expected to create 25 new direct jobs and an estimated 150 new indirect jobs.
Several members of the LePage Administration including Energy Director Patrick Woodcock and forest products advisor Rosaire Pelletier played a significant role in helping ReEnergy identify and gain access to the resources needed to help get this plant back up and running. Specifically, the Administration initiated a discussion with Emera Maine to determine whether the facility could be a part of an effort to bolster reliability in the region in the medium term, while a plan for long term reliability is considered by the MPUC.
The 39-megawatt ReEnergy Ashland facility generates renewable energy from responsibly harvested green forest residue biomass and unadulterated wood. It is capable of producing approximately 284,000 MWh of electricity each year — enough to supply nearly 37,000 homes. Maine is one of the largest biomass electricity producers in the country with over 20 percent of the State’s electricity generation coming from biomass power plants.