ReEnergy achieves SFI Certification, opens Fort Drum plant

By Erin Voegele | June 17, 2013

ReEnergy Holdings has announced five of its biomass power plants in Maine and New York have achieved certification under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The certification verifies that ReEnergy’s biomass procurement program promotes land stewardship and responsible forestry practices.

ReEnergy earned the certification by meeting fiber sourcing requirements of the SFI 2010-2014 Standard (Objectives 8-20). According to information published by SFI, the SFI2010-2014 Standard promotes sustainable forest management in North America via 14 core principles. These principles are designed to promote sustainable forest management and include elements to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat and at-risk species. The standard includes 20 specific objectives, along with 35 performance measures and 115 indicators.

The standard’s first seven objectives related to forest land management. Objectives 8 through 13 focus on fiber sourcing, while objectives 14 through 20 apply to both forest land management and fiber sourcing. Examples of objectives met by ReEnergy holdings include using qualified resources and qualified logging professionals, the adherence to best management practices to protect water quality, and the improvement of sustainable forestry practices implementation through appropriate training and education programs. A list of all 20 objectives and their descriptions can be downloaded from the SFI website.

“We recognize the commitment and effort ReEnergy has made to procure fiber from responsible sources,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of the SFI. “The SFI Standard promotes responsible forest management for all forest uses. Third party certification to SFI Fiber Sourcing requirements promotes best management practices for water quality, logger training and prompt regeneration of the forest.”

ReEnergy’s facilities that have achieved certification include the 60 MW ReEnergy Black River plant in Fort Drum, N.Y.; the 22 MW ReEnergy Lyonsdale plant in Lyons Falls, N.Y.; the 37 MW ReEnergy Fort Fairfield plant in Fort Fairfield, Maine; the 39 MW ReEnergy Livermore Falls plant in Livermore Falls, Maine; and the 48 MW ReEnergy Stratton plant in Stratton, Maine. Two additional plants owned by ReEnergy—ReEnergy Ashland in Maine and ReEnergy Chateaugay in New York—are currently idle and have not achieved certification. According to ReEnergy, it is the first company solely devoted to electricity production to be certified under the SFI Standard.

“ReEnergy believes that sustainable, renewable clean energy production is essential to reducing the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels and is committed to creating renewable sources of electricity while respecting the environment,” said Larry Richardson, CEO of ReEnergy. “In securing SFI certification, ReEnergy has committed to broaden the practice of sustainable forestry with its fuel suppliers. 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.”

ReEnergy’s newly certified Black River facility celebrated its grand opening on May 31. ReEnergy acquired facility in late 2011 and retrofitted it to burn biomass as its primary fuel rather than coal. The plant will sell renewable energy credits to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority under New York’s renewable portfolio standard.

The facility could provide enough energy to meet all of Fort Drum’s power needs and is seeking to do so. ReEnergy Black River has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Defense under a competitive procurement process to provide renewable energy to Fort Drum.

“NYSERDA congratulates ReEnergy on its grand opening and SFI certification,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA. “The Black River plant will be a boon to the economy of the North Country, and bring renewable power to the state’s electric grid. This facility will also help meet Governor Cuomo’s goals of reducing the state’s use of fossil fuels while increasing its energy independence.”