SCHUMER URGES PSC TO WORK WITH REENERGY HOLDING & OTHER STATE AND LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS TO IMMEDIATELY CRAFT A PLAN TO KEEP THE WOOD-CHIP BURNING PLANT OPEN; SENATOR SAYS PLAN SHOULD FOCUS ON SAVING JOBS IN THE NORTH COUNTRY AND PRESERVING AN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE
Without Immediate Intervention, Lyonsdale’s Wood-Chip-Burning Plant Could Close; Senator Says A Comprehensive Plan Could Help Save The Plant & Vital North Country Jobs
Schumer To PSC: Don’t Let The Fire Go Out In The Wood-Chip Burning Plant
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates and oversees the energy industry, to work with ReEnergy, North Country leaders and relevant government agencies to prevent the at-risk ReEnergy Lyonsdale wood-chip-burning cogeneration plant from closing. Schumer urged PSC to work with all the relevant agencies like New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and other state and local entities to immediately come up with a plan to prevent the plant from closing its doors. Schumer urged the PSC to use every available tool so that ReEnergy Lyonsdale can assist the State to reach its goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.
“ReEnergy’s Lyonsdale facility provides good paying jobs, is a source of alternative energy and is a vital part in the North Country’s economy. Not only does the plant support 22 fulltime employees, the biomass facility supports more than 100 jobs in the logging industry. The PSC has the world-class expertise the energy and power market and a wealth of relationships in the energy field. That is why it is so important that PSC immediately work with ReEnergy and other state and local entities to come up with a plan to keep the plant open. These jobs – and the energy produced at Lyonsdale – are critically important to the region, and I will help in any way I can to keep the plant from closing,” said Senator Schumer.
Schumer said PSC’s recently introduced its Clean Energy Standard program which could help stabilize the price and future investments of clean and renewable energy. This means companies like ReEnergy’s Lyonsdale facility, could continue to contribute to New York’s goal to produce cleaner and reliable energy. However, with the current decline of wholesale energy prices, ReEnergy needs additional support until the new standard is in place.
ReEnergy’s Lyonsdale facility has an annual economic impact of over $15 million; and generates enough energy to supply 21,000 homes with clean, reliable electricity. In addition to the 22 full-time employees at the plant, the biomass facility supports more than 100 jobs in the logging industry by spending $6.5 million annually on more than 200,000 tons of wood chips.
A copy of Schumer’s letter to the PSC appears below:
Dear Ms. Zibelman,
I write to request that the New York State Public Service Commission to work with ReEnergy Holdings and other relevant entities, like NYSERDA, to develop a plan that will enable ReEnergy to avert the impending shutdown of its renewable energy plant in Lyonsdale, New York. This wood chip-burning cogeneration facility, which uses biomass as its primary fuel, is an asset to both the Northern New York economy and the state’s energy future.
ReEnergy’s Lyonsdale facility has an annual economic impact of over $15 million, and generates enough energy to supply 21,000 homes with clean, reliable electricity. In addition to the 22 full-time employees at the plant, the biomass facility supports more than 100 jobs in the logging industry by spending $6.5 million annually on more than 200,000 tons of wood chips.
Recently, the Public Service Commission issued its intent to establish a Clean Energy Standard, a program expected to that stabilize the price of and invest in continued clean and renewable baseload capacity. This would allow existing renewable energy plants, like ReEnergy’s Lyonsdale facility, to continue its contribution to New York’s pursuit of a clean and reliable energy market. However, with the current decline of wholesale energy prices, ReEnergy needs additional support until the new standard is in place.
Therefore, I request that the Public Service Commission use all the tools at its disposal - whether through its assistance in forging a market-priced sales agreement; enhanced renewable energy tax credits; or facilitating bridge funding - so that ReEnergy Lyonsdale can assist the State in reaching its ambitious goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. In addition, I ask that the Commission work with NYSERDA to identify all public and private entities to which the Lyonsdale facility may supply power, and to work with stakeholders to forge agreements that will stabilize this facility’s economic situation.
Thank you for your consideration of these concerns and for your willingness to lend your considerable expertise to this meeting this challenge. I stand ready to assist in any way I can. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator