The Facts
Learn the Truth About Burgess
FACT: Burgess BioPower is consistently ranked one of the most efficient and well-run biomass plants in the country. Burgess’ capacity factor - a measurement of run time and efficiency - averages over 90% each year. The industry average capacity factor is 58.1%.

Each year, the plant undergoes a comprehensive third-party evaluation of its management and operations, which confirms the plant’s team is best-in-class in running this facility. The most recent report states: “This continues to be a well-run facility and the operating systems and the preventive maintenance program in place are equal to and in some instances better than the typical power generating facility we inspect. Plant Management continues to make enhancements and improvements to the facility to optimize its operation time and minimize down time. The proof of this can be seen in the availability and capacity numbers for 2022. Their dedication and vigilance have proven that they go above the status quo.”

Furthermore, an audit by the New Hampshire Department of Energy, which was mandated by the legislature last year, confirms that Burgess operates with strict financial oversight.
FACT: Burgess has discussed a plan with the New Hampshire Department of Energy and members of the legislature to continue providing critical baseload power without subsidies.

Burgess has been criticized for being “subsidized” by ratepayers, but that’s an inaccurate characterization. Burgess receives a steady contract price for energy. Eversource buys Burgess’ power at that contract price and re-sells it into the day-ahead market.

The “subsidy” is based on comparing Burgess’ price to the day-ahead market price, which is not the price consumers actually pay for power.

Once Eversource has purchased Burgess’ power, Burgess has no say in how they use it. If there is a cost difference between Burgess’ power price and the price at which Eversource re-sells the power, it’s recovered from ratepayers through the Stranded Cost Recovery Charge, which is a transaction Burgess has no control over and does not benefit from. For instance, if Burgess’ power was sold at a profit, or used to lower the cost of default service, ratepayers would benefit, but Burgess would still receive only its contracted price.
FACT: Burgess produces price-stable, low-cost renewable energy. Unfortunately, ratepayers no longer benefit from Burgess’ price stability.

When Burgess entered into the PPA with Eversource (then PSNH), Eversource still generated energy. Burgess’ power was used as part of their default service mix, acting as a price-stable financial hedge against market fluctuations. However, Eversource no longer uses Burgess in the default mix, thereby placing a greater demand on energy with a volatile market rate.

Now, Eversource purchases Burgess’ power at the contract price and then re-sells it into the day-ahead market, and any price difference is recovered from ratepayers through the Stranded Cost Recovery Charge. Burgess has no control over how its power is used once it has been purchased, and no control over the associated ratepayer impact. This impact could be mitigated or eliminated if Burgess’ power was used differently.

Since Burgess’ power is no longer used as part of default service, customers do not benefit from Burgess’ fixed price when market prices skyrocket. And even when market prices are at their highest, Burgess still gets paid the same steady, lower contract rate.
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.
Sustainable, reliable and valuable energy.  Stand with Burgess.
Frequently Asked Questions
Burgess BioPower is a 75-megawatt baseload wood-fired power plant in Berlin delivering more than 500,000 megawatt hours of sustainable and reliable power to the New Hampshire power grid each year.
Burgess is the largest power generator in NH to run on locally sourced fuel and has provided more clean, renewable energy than any other facility in New England. Burgess BioPower is the 4th largest power generator in New Hampshire, behind only nuclear and imported natural gas.
Biomass is renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals. Burgess BioPower generates power from woody biomass. When foresters cut trees and harvest the wood, low-grade materials including branches, wood chips, and sawdust, are collected and burned at the Burgess facility to create electricity for the NH power grid.
Burgess BioPower provides tremendous value from an economic, energy and environmental standpoint. Burgess supports more than 240 jobs, from employees who work at the facility itself to people who work in the forestry industry as loggers and haulers. These are people and families who depend on Burgess for their livelihoods.

Beyond just jobs, Burgess supports nearly $70 million in annual economic activity, which equates to $1.4 billion over the now terminated, 20-year PPA. Burgess purchases over 800,000 tons of low-grade wood each year, providing critical financial support to regional foresters throughout New Hampshire and supporting sustainable forestry management practices. Burgess supports 65% more jobs than an equivalent natural gas-fired power plant.

When it comes to energy security, Burgess’s value goes well beyond cost. The New England power grid is overwhelmingly and unsustainably dependent on natural gas. Burgess provides more than 500,000 megawatt hours of reliable, locally sourced, price-stable, baseload power each year we can all rely on regardless of the sun, the wind or pipeline capacity.
"Baseload" power is the minimum amount of power our grid needs at any given moment to function. "Baseload" power plants in NH include: nuclear, natural gas, and wood/biomass.
The power grid is vulnerable because it’s overly dependent on natural gas. That becomes a major issue during prolonged periods of extreme cold, as natural gas pipeline capacity into New Hampshire and New England is constrained. When it is extremely cold, especially over an extended period of time, more natural gas is directed to homes for heating and less natural gas is directed to power generators for electricity production. That ratio places the power grid at risk and the grid operator, ISO-NE has stated that this scenario raises the very real possibility of rolling blackouts.

That’s why Burgess plays such a critical role as a baseload power generator. Burgess delivers 500,000 megawatt hours of price-stable power to the New Hampshire grid each year regardless of the weather conditions, and regardless of the availability of natural gas.
Burgess BioPower supports more than 240 jobs between the facility itself and the suppliers, vendors, loggers and haulers who depend on the facility every day. Burgess purchases more than 800,000 tons of low-grade wood each year, ensuring the livelihoods of regional foresters throughout New Hampshire, while at the same time supporting sustainable forestry management.
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