FACT: Under the now-terminated PPA, Burgess was required to sell 100% of its output to Eversource, which limited some of the opportunities to operate differently. Eversource has declined to renegotiate the contract.
Nevertheless, Burgess has actively pursued new strategies and scenarios, such as:
• Becoming a Competitive Electricity Power Supplier (CEPS), which required federal, state, and RTO approval; FERC approval; state licensing approval; and ISO-NE approval, to enable Burgess to bid on default service. Ultimately, the credit and collateral requirements along with the bidding auction structure proved too burdensome to overcome.
• Pursuing a Contract for Differences with Eversource, which is a financial tool to help offset the limitations of the current PPA. Eversource declined to participate.
• Aggressively pursuing co-location opportunities to offset PPA costs, including development of a greenhouse facility; on-site energy generation using landfill gas; solar development; cryptocurrency mining; and biochar production (this project is still in discussion).
• Operating continuously through the COVID-19 pandemic as an Essential Business.
• Successfully assisting the City of Berlin with its $19.5m RAISE grant application.
• Pursuing community power aggregation and a district heating system that will reduce oil heat use and heating costs by ~50% in local schools, low-income housing, municipal buildings, and area businesses.
• Spending more than 5 months to complete the DOE audit. DOE reviewed more than 1,300 pages of documents and records and conducted a series of interviews with company officials.
Key findings are as follows (copied verbatim from the DOE cover letter provided with the final report):
• “The Department’s audit confirms that the financial records of the company appear to be an accurate representation of the activity of Burgess BioPower, LLC and Berlin Station, LLC. No anomalies or irregularities were found.
• All income was used for the operation of Burgess BioPower, LLC and debt payments; no excess capital was available for distribution to investors, and no equity distributions to investors were noted.
• The business operates under strict financial oversight by Deutsche Bank.
• If the cap on the CRF and the legislation that halted the imposition of returning any amount over $100 million expires, that will result in Burgess BioPower being required to return the amount over $100 million over a twelve-month period. That will result in a reduction to the Burgess BioPower PPA revenue stream over one year, negatively impacting the ability of Burgess BioPower to operate during that timeframe and beyond.”
FACT:Burgess BioPower is a proud community partner, contributing 16% of Berlin’s property tax revenue, 20% of the Sewer Department’s revenue, and 40% of the Water Department Revenue, which equals the department’s entire debt service payment. Burgess was also instrumental in helping the city receive a $19.5 million federal RAISE grant.
Per Mayor Paul Grenier: “Burgess BioPower is one of the best things to happen to Berlin in the past 15 years. The company is a shining example of what a great corporate citizen can do for a community.”
FACT: Burgess has always been about value, and not cost. Burgess supports 240 jobs statewide, many of which are in the North Country, while providing a 20-year, $1.4 billion economic impact. Each year, Burgess consumes 800,000 tons of low-grade wood from all 10 New Hampshire counties to produce enough energy to power 67,000 homes.
Burgess is the largest single buyer of biomass in the state. The facility's wood consumption volume represents 1/3 of all the wood cut in New Hampshire’s $1.2 billion forest products industry.
For the state’s $250 million sawmill industry, Burgess is the last market to manage waste material. Without an outlet for mill waste, sawmills cannot operate. This material can’t be dumped in empty lots or burned onsite – it must be removed. Burgess is critical to this industry.
FACT: While it’s true that Burgess supports over 240 jobs statewide and is the largest buyer of biomass in the state – which is critical to the forest products industry - at its core Burgess BioPower is a renewable, clean, baseload energy generator delivering enough locally sourced, renewable energy to power 67,000 homes, or 10% of the total homes in New Hampshire.
Burgess was developed to help meet New Hampshire Renewable Portfolio Standards and is the largest renewable energy generator in the state.