ReEnergy Ashland seeks renewable status for rebuilt power plant in Maine

ReEnergy Ashland LLC filed an Oct. 21 petition with the Maine Public Utilities Commission for a New Renewable Resource Certification for its refurbished ReEnergy Ashland biomass-fired generation facility located in Ashland, Maine.

It said this facility qualifies as a Class I New Renewable Resource. The facility has a nameplate capacity rating of 39 MW and uses biomass as the primary fuel. The plant is located at 63 Realty Road, Ashland, Maine, in Aroostook County, and is interconnected with the Emera Maine transmission system, which is administered by the Northern Maine Independent System Administrator (NMISA).

The facility first began commercial operation in November 1993. After continued baseload operation, the previous owner (Boralex Industries Inc.) notified the NMISA in January 2011 of its intention to discontinue operations and place the facility in a preserved state (generally referred to as “mothballed”). The facility was allowed to cease operations effective March 1, 2011.

In December 2011, ReEnergy acquired all of the ownership interests in Boralex Ashland LP and changed its name to ReEnergy Ashland LLC. At that time, the facility was still inactive and without an economically viable useful life due to market conditions and the need for significant capital investments to restore and maintain reliable operations. In 2014. After extensive investments and efforts by ReEnergy, the facility returned to commercial operation in October 2014, and it has continuously operated as a baseload renewable resource since that time. 

Several of the capital projects constitute a total overhaul of major plant systems required in order for the facility to function, while other investments included a refurbishment or renovation of support systems crucial to the facility’s generation capabilities. This level of refurbishment was such that the facility set production, availability, and capacity records in 2015, its first full year of operation.

“As a result of these refurbishments, the Facility returned from a 3 ½-year mothball status to full commercial operation and has operated continuously since its restart, thus operating beyond its original useful life,” the company said.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.