ReEnergy Holdings recently celebrated the fifth annual National Bioenergy Day on Oct. 18, 2017. This day is marked across North America to inform citizens about a form of renewable energy with significant local benefits.
Bioenergy is electricity and heat generated from wood and other organic materials. In 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association, approximately 22% of all renewable energy consumed was from wood – more than wind and solar and second only to hydroelectric energy.
When operating at full capacity, ReEnergy’s four biomass power facilities together spend approximately $90 million per year in operating expenses, much of which is used to pay for the purchase of fuel from local logging contractors and sawmills. The four plants generate enough power to supply 154,000 and support approximately 100 direct jobs and an estimated 700 indirect jobs.
The facilities serve as a critical market for residue from logging and mill operations.
“Bioenergy contributes a great deal to our local economy and helps keep forests as forests. It enhances forest health and supports jobs in the forest industry,” said Bob Cleaves, a lifelong Mainer who serves as president of the national Biomass Power Association. “We employ local residents and generate clean energy from materials that would otherwise be discarded. National Bioenergy Day gives people an opportunity to see what we do firsthand and learn more about bioenergy.”
In Maine, ReEnergy conducts business with more than 80 logging/trucking contractors and approximately 20 mills, including sawmills, chip mills, pellet mills, and pulp/paper mills. ReEnergy also has invested approximately $15 million to purchase almost 80 pieces of state-of-the-art logging equipment for about 70 logging companies.
ReEnergy’s fuel procurement program is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), an internationally recognized standard that verifies that ReEnergy’s suppliers follow best management practices that promote sustainable forest management and consider all forest values, including the protection of wildlife habitat and water quality.
“Since we became a Maine corporate citizen in 2011, we have deployed more than $500 million in capital and operating expenses in our Maine assets, and we wish to increase that commitment,” said Larry Richardson, ReEnergy Holdings’ chief executive officer. “Many logging companies and mills count on our facilities for their continued viability, and we firmly believe that our biomass assets represent a critical economic development tool, as each of our power facilities is located adjacent to at least one large tract of undeveloped land and each could provide affordable electricity, thermal energy and other infrastructure support to a co-located industry. We appreciate the policy support that our sector has received from the State of Maine, and we’re working to ensure that our facilities can be a catalyst for the development of new complementary industries. We are engaged in aggressive efforts to ensure long-term viability of our assets in Maine.”
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