UL- Wood-fired smokescreen: ‘Small’ carries a big price
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The Union Leader points out that New Hampshire’s high electric rates are the direct result of government mandates for PSNH to buy power from more expensive sources.
What is “up,” however, are the expensive, long-term contracts that the state Legislature forced PSNH to sign with these wood-fired plants, some as long as 20 years ago. With the contracts up or about to expire, the wood plants will have to sell power at market rates. Market rates are not cheap, but they are considerably less expensive than the prices PSNH is mandated to pay to these wood-fired operators.
It’s not that PSNH opposes home-grown energy or jobs. It converted one of its own plants to bio-mass recently. It wants to buy wood power from a planned Berlin plant. But it doesn’t help the company or the ratepayers to have to buy at artificially high prices. As its spokesman, Martin Murray, noted, “what they are asking for is a subsidy.”
“We have a long history of paying those plants an enormous amount of money, and that is a key reason why rates are higher here. We just got out from under that and now they have to compete at market with everybody,” Murray said.
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