Maine PUC okays refurbished ReEnergy Ashland plant as renewable generator

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Jan. 9 approved an October 2016 application from ReEnergy Ashland LLC for a New Renewable Resource Certification for its refurbished ReEnergy Ashland biomass-fired facility in Ashland, Maine.

Said the Jan. 9 order: “After considering ReEnergy’s petition, the Commission finds that ReEnergy’s Facility has been refurbished and is operating beyond its useful life pursuant requirements of Chapter 311, section 3(B)(3)(d), and therefore qualifies as a Maine 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 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 1993. After continued baseload operation, the previous owner (Boralex Industries) notified the NMISA in 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. 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.

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.