Burgess BioPower earns RPS certification, wraps up commissioning

By Erin Voegele | May 27, 2014

The Berlin, N.H.-based Burgess BioPower LLC facility was officially certified as a Class I renewable energy source in Connecticut on May 20. The 75-MW plant began operations in late 2013 and is expected to wrap up the commissioning phase this week. The facility was developed by Cate Street Capital Inc.

Raymond Kusche, director of Energy Services at Cate Street Capital, explained that that with the Connecticut certification now in place, the facility is eligible to generate renewable energy credits (RECs) for compliance with four state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). The facility was previously qualified to generate RECs for compliance with RPS programs in New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island.

The plant has a 20-year power purchase contact with Public Service New Hampshire. That agreement gives PSNH the contractual right to purchase the first 400,000 RECs generated by the plant each year, equating to approximately four-fifths of the plant’s annual output. The remaining 100,000 RECs will be sold by Burgess BioPower. According to Kusche, the company has not yet made arrangements to sell those credits.

Regarding the plant’s operation, Kusche noted that Burgess BioPower began operations in late 2013. Since then, the facility has been undergoing a commissioning process. While the plant has run continuously for periods of time, it has undergone outages for fine tuning and other commissioning processes in the months since startup. The plant was scheduled to come out of its final expected outage during the final weekend of May and is expected to be operating at full capacity later this week. Kusche stressed that it is not unusual for a new plant, particularly one of the size and complexity of the Burgess BioPower facility, to experience some startup challenges. “We’ve made continual process,” he said, noting the company expects to operate according to its regular schedule for the remainder of the year.