New York utility regulator to decide on sale of 50-MW power plant in Fort Drum, New York, to ReEnergy, which plans to convert it to biomass from coal-fired; ReEnergy also upgrading Lyonsdale, New York, biomass plant it acquired May 1

LOS ANGELES , August 18, 2011 () – The sale of a 50-megawatt (MW) power plant in Fort Drum, New York, to a subsidiary of Latham, New York-based ReEnergy Holdings LLC is being considered today by the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC), reported the Watertown Daily Times on Aug. 18.

ReEnergy Black River LLC proposes converting the coal-fired power plant to burn biomass, mostly wood chips, but also tires and solid fuels, according to the petition filed with the PSC on April 22.

ReEnergy Holdings also is making improvements at a 19-MW biomass power plant in Lyonsdale, New York, it bought as of May 1 from Central Hudson Enterprises Corp., a subsidiary of Poughkeepsie, New York-based CH Energy Group Inc., the Watertown Daily Times reported.

The improvements, which include upgrades to the boiler and the power generation system, should increase the 20-year-old facility’s reliability. Most of the work is expected to be completed this year, with the remainder to be finished next year, said Thomas E. Beck, a principal with ReEnergy.

The Fort Drum facility was originally a cogeneration operation that supplied steam to nearby buildings and sold power to Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., the Watertown Daily Times reported. Niagara Mohawk is a power supply subsidiary of National Grid USA, according to its website.

The operation at Fort Drum is currently has been owned since May 26, 2004 by Black River Generation LLC, which is controlled ultimately by United States Power Fund LP, reported the Watertown Daily Times.

The facility is authorized to burn bituminous coal, anthracite coal, fuel oil, wood, petroleum coke, tire-derived fuel and other fuels and is located on 11.8 acres that is leased from the U.S. Army. ReEnergy wants to lease another 4.2 acres from the Army to process and store wood fuel.

ReEnergy Holdings is held by Riverstone Holdings LLC, a private equity firm. It also owns a 31.3-MW tire-to-energy generation facility in Sterling, New York, and plans to acquire 102.5 MW of cogeneration power capacity and 12.5 MW from a back-up generator at Rumford Paper Co., Rumford, Maine, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

The primary source of this article is the Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, New York, on Aug. 18, 2011.

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