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Vermont Board Denies Proposed Biomass-to-Energy Plant

Vermont Board Denies Proposed Biomass-to-Energy Plant

The Vermont Public Service Board denied approval for a proposed biomass-to-energy plant in the state.

The quasi-judicial board denied a certificate for a proposed 35-megawatt facility in North Springfield, saying that the project would hamper the state’s ability to meet statutory goals for reducing greenhouse gases, according to a news release from the advocacy group Partnership for Policy Integrity.

The plant would have burned 450,000 tons of wood a year, and carbon dioxide emissions would have been more than 445,000 tons per year.

The board also expressed concern about the low thermal efficiency of the plant, which would have peaked at 28 percent.

Vermont has a state goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 1990 levels by 2028.

“This is an important decision for the state of Vermont, and nationally,” said Mary Booth, director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity. “When policymakers see that bioenergy involves harvesting forests and burning the wood in low-efficiency power plants, they conclude that large-scale bioenergy isn’t compatible with greenhouse gas reduction goals.”

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