Maine biomass facilities receive sustainable certification

Posted June 13, 2013, at 1:12 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — ReEnergy Holdings, owner of four biomass-to-energy facilities in Maine, has achieved certification from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard.

The label verifies its biomass procurement program to promote land stewardship and responsible forestry practices. ReEnergy, which is based in Latham, N.Y., is the first company devoted to electricity production to receive the standard, according to a news release.

“Promoting sustainable forestry practices allows ReEnergy to meet the environmental and social needs of the present without compromising the needs and resources of future generations,” Larry Richardson, CEO of ReEnergy Holdings, said in a statement.

The company owns four biomass-to-energy facilities in Maine: Livermore Falls, Fort Fairfield, Stratton and Ashland. However, the Ashland facility is currently idle and, therefore, did not receive certification, according to the company. The company employs 100 people in Maine.

The company also owns five biomass facilities in five other states.

ReEnergy earned the certification by promoting logger and forester training and encouraging suppliers in North America to reforest harvested sites, among other earth-friendly moves.

Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, said in a press release that the company’s certification “promotes best management practices for water quality, logger training and prompt regeneration of the forest,” and is a step toward reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Gov. Paul LePage also commented on the company’s announcement.

“I believe we can achieve a balance, a balance between preservation of natural treasures and improvement of the Maine business climate in a manner that allows the private sector to create jobs,” Gov. LePage said in a prepared statement. “ReEnergy exemplifies the qualities of a company that is working to achieve that balance of promoting land stewardship and forestry practices.”

ReEnergy’s policy is to locate its facilities in regions capable of supplying raw materials while helping to sustain forests where those facilities are located.

David Littell, a commissioner for the Maine Public Utilities Commission, said “ReEnergy is leading the industry in using sustainably harvested biomass. I commend the company for this significant advancement of clean energy.”

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