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Next step: Laidlaw files permit for Berlin power plant.

Laidlaw Berlin BioPower LLC has filed an application for a permit from the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to construct and operate a proposed 70- megawatt biomass plant at the former site of the Fraser Papers mill in Berlin.

The latest round of permitting is expected to take some nine months, according to a release from Laidlaw, a subsidiary of New York City-based Laidlaw Energy Group.

"We are confident that we have a strong application worthy of this important project, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the Site Evaluation Committee, as well as state and local representatives throughout the review process," said Michael Bartoszek, president of Laidlaw Energy Group. "We are convinced that this project will be a source of pride for the state of New Hampshire and the city of Berlin."

Laidlaw completed its acquisition of the site last December with a group of private equity investors and has since been preparing its permit filing and negotiations for other key contracts for the project, including a long-term power purchase agreement.

Earlier in December, the company was notified by ISO New England, which oversees the regional power grid, that there is enough transmission capacity in the area to handle the Laidlaw plant's output.

The company said results of an ISO New England feasibility study indicated that the Berlin facility would be able to connect to the transmission system with minimal upgrades, estimated to cost less than $1 million.

The interconnection study took into account all existing facilities as well as projects currently under development and already in the ISO-New England queue, Laidlaw said.

When the biomass-to-energy facility is operational, it is expected to burn over 700,000 tons of wood chips per year. Approximately 40 jobs will be created directly along with 500 indirect jobs, according to Laidlaw.

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Title Annotation:Laidlaw Berlin BioPower LLC
Author:Kibbe, Cindy
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:Dec 31, 2009
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