SENATE SUPPORTS "OPEN DOOR" POLICY TO ENERGY GENERATION IN BERLIN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Senator Peter Burling

(603) 271 – 3067

April 20, 2006

Concord ,NH – The New Hampshire Senate today passed an amended version of House Bill 1690, which will have the effect of eliminating legal bars to construction and operations of a renewable wood-fired power plant by the Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH). The plant may be built near the northern forests in Coos County.

The legislation is the result of a study committee created to study maximizing the use of renewable energy. House Bill 1690 authorizes electric utilities to offer a renewable energy default service program. The term “default service” is defined as “electricity supply that is available to retail customers who are otherwise without an electricity supplier and are ineligible for transition service.”

Senator Peter Burling (D- Cornish) offered an amendment to House Bill1690 allowing PSNH to “build or acquire additional generating assets that employ renewable wood-fired energy proximate to the northern forests of the state.” Senator Burling remarked, “The Senate Energy Committee worked very hard to craft legislation which eliminates legal bars to PSNH participation in energy generation in the North Country. Our purpose has been to pass a bill which makes it possible for everyone to bring forward their best ideas for energy generation through wood-fired technology. The bill opens the door for everyone to pursue the most competitive and effective concepts and get jobs out of it. What we have done today will be good for New Hampshire, Coos County and those who live and work in the North Country.”

PSNH is currently looking to create a wood-fired power plant in Berlin as paper mills in that area are closing their doors. “By building these wood-fired power plants, especially in the North Country, we are not only providing economical and environmentally friendly energy, but creating new jobs as well” concluded Senator Burling.

House Bill 1690 has been referred to Senate Finance where it will have another public hearing.