New Hampshire biomass plant celebrates 9 years of operation

By Eversource | December 15, 2015

Imagine a “Made in New Hampshire” story that supports hundreds of jobs in our state’s forestry industry. Eversource is celebrating the ninth anniversary of the Northern Wood Power biomass unit at Schiller Station; and, over that time it has received more than 151,000 deliveries of wood chips from local foresters—enough wood to support 150 to 200 forestry-related jobs. And, that is in addition to the scores of other local jobs created by Eversource’s Northern Wood Power station, winner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Air Excellence Award.”

When Northern Wood Power was completed and became operational in December 2006, it permanently replaced a 50-MW coal-burning boiler with an environmentally friendly system that uses clean wood chips for fuel. The project has earned state, regional, national, and international awards for its innovation and positive resultant environmental changes. “Northern Wood Power has provided customers with clean energy and tremendous value during its first nine years of commercial operation,” said Bill Smagula, Eversource vice president of generation. “Its success is a tribute to all the great effort put forth by many of our employees and the work of our local foresters.”

Over its first nine years, Northern Wood Power’s achievements have included:

- More than 2.8 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy produced and delivered to Eversource customers and the regional energy market

- More than 4.6 million tons of clean wood chips consumed, displacing coal

- Adding more than $380 million to the regional economy

The majority of the wood consumed by Northern Wood Power comes from local forests within 50 miles of Portsmouth:

U.S. EPA: “Clean Air Excellence Award”
N.H. Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention
Green International Green Apple Award (London)
NH Timberland Owners Association, NH Outstanding Forest Industry Award
Power Magazine: “2007 Marmaduke Award”
Environmental Business Council of New England: “Outstanding New Environmental/Energy Technology”
National Pollution Prevention Roundtable: “Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award” 

Northern Wood Power is part of a diverse Eversource power generation portfolio in New Hampshire that has served the Granite State for many years and includes wood, hydro, wind, coal, natural gas and oil. The Northern Wood Power boiler generates enough electricity to power approximately 50,000 New Hampshire homes and reduces air emissions due to it being one of the cleanest burning boilers in New England. By utilizing a locally available renewable fuel source, Northern Wood Power not only lessens New Hampshire’s dependence on fossil fuels but also has served as a new and significant wood chip market for New Hampshire’s forest industry.