What is SB271?
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SB271 is Signed Into Law
 
June 24, 2022 – Governor Sununu signs SB271 into law.
 
May 26, 2022 – NH House and Senate resoundingly approve SB271 by voice votes.
 
May 6, 2022 – House emphatically approves amended version of SB271 by voice vote.
 
April 26, 2022 – House Science, Technology and Energy Committee votes 20-2 in favor of passing amended SB271.
 
April 12, 2022 SB271 will be heard by the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee. 
 
March 24, 2022 – NH Senate Passes SB271 with a unanimous vote.
 
February 1, 2022 – SB271 was voted 5-0 Ought to Pass by the NH State Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee.
 
January 5, 2022 – SB271 was introduced and Referred to the Energy and Natural Resources committee.
New Hampshire relies on baseload energy generated by Burgess BioPower. Help protect our energy independence.

SB271 is a critical piece of legislation that will protect New Hampshire's economic vitality, power grid, and citizenship.

Please take the time to learn more about this valuable resource.

What is Senate Bill 271?

As signed into law by Governor Sununu, Senate Bill 271 provides a path forward for securing Burgess BioPower’s long-term viability as a critical power generator in New Hampshire. The bipartisan bill provides us with the opportunity to work directly with the New Hampshire Department of Energy and legislators as partners to find a solution that secures our future and ensures our continued ability to deliver tremendous statewide value from an economic, energy and environmental standpoint.

The initial version of SB271 corrected the way in which previous legislation was implemented by the Public Utilities Commission, to provide limited financial relief to Burgess. While the final version of the legislation does not address the financial relief question, it does provide us with additional time to find a solution that works for all.

Power Purchase Agreement

In 2011, Burgess entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eversource (then known as Public Service of New Hampshire, or PSNH) which provided fixed-price power to PSNH customers for 20 years.

Since then, the energy market has shifted dramatically and unexpectedly. The specific provisions of the PPA place Burgess in a challenging financial situation that threatens the facility’s ongoing operation and the considerable economic, energy and environmental value it provides.

At the end of the PPA contract, Eversource has the first right of refusal to purchase Burgess. In order to offset the purchase price, a tracking mechanism known as a Cumulative Reduction Factor (CRF) was included at a cap of $100 million.

The intent of the CRF is to track the difference between the price of Burgess BioPower’s power and the “market price.” Functionally, the CRF tracks the difference between Burgess’ long-term contracted energy price and the ISO-NE Energy Price (called the day-ahead price) at Burgess’s interconnection point, the Berlin Burgess Node.

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Why is the CRF a problem?

The CRF calculation compares Burgess' long-term, stable PPA price against a price that changes hourly - so it's not an "apples to apples" comparison.

This is how the CRF calculation works:

  • Eversource buys power from Burgess at the fixed PPA price.
  • Eversource then compares Burgess’s PPA price to the day-ahead price at the Berlin Burgess Node.
  • The amount tracked in the CRF fluctuates, positive or negative based on the price difference.
  • Any negative difference accumulates in the CRF; any positive difference reduces the CRF total.

The mismatch of comparing a long-term contracted energy price against a short term market price has significantly impacted the CRF calculation. Burgess must repay any accumulated balance over the cap. A variety of factors including depressed natural gas prices and a short-term price comparison point have combined to cause the CRF to grow faster than expected, thereby putting Burgess’s continued operation at risk.

NH House and Senate approve SB271
1/5/2022 – SB271 was introduced and referred to the Energy and Natural Resources committee.
 
2/1/2022 – SB271 was voted 5-0 Ought to Pass by the NH State Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee.
 
3/24/2022 – NH Senate Passes SB271 with a unanimous vote.
 
4/12/2022 SB271 will be heard by the House Science, Technology, and Energy committee. 
 
4/26/2022 – House Science, Technology and Energy Committee votes 20-2 in favor of passing amended SB271.
 
5/6/2022 – House emphatically approves amended version of SB271 by voice vote.
 
5/26/2022 – NH House and Senate resoundingly approve SB271 by voice votes.
If you stand with Burgess and support SB 271, contact your legislator with a message of support!

What Happens Next?

When the PPA was signed, Eversource owned generation assets and simply incorporated Burgess’s power into its Default Service mix. Now that Eversource doesn’t generate its own power, Eversource buys Burgess’s power at the PPA price and sells it into the market. Any price difference is recovered from ratepayers through Stranded Cost Recovery Charge (SCRC).

Burgess’ cost of power is not included in Eversource’s default service rate; it is only reflected in the SCRC – and it can be reduced by using Burgess’s power in a better way.

In 2018, the Legislature passed, and Governor Sununu signed SB 577, which suspended operation of the CRF cap for three years.

We believe – and the prime sponsor of SB 577 confirmed – the Legislature’s intent was to forgive costs accrued in the CRF during the three-year suspension period but, unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

As provided by the Order issued by the PUC, Burgess must repay any amount above the cap that accrued during the three-year suspension in full over the course of a single operating year (2023). This is economically devastating for Burgess.

SB271 provides us with the opportunity to correct this problem and allows Burgess to continue operating.

I am Burgess People
"If Burgess BioPower were to close we'd downsize significantly. There would be a whole restructure without Burgess in place."
"I didn't think I would've had this opportunity without Burgess. It's a real big push to keep us open and running. Not jut for us, but for the whole community."
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Brent Day
Biomass Supplier
Alaina Bernard
Plant Operator
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