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How Sweet It Is!

PSNH and Lindt USA Collaborate to Produce “Cocoa Power”

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Feb. 11, 2010 – With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, one premium chocolate maker in New Hampshire is partnering with the state’s largest electric utility to produce something everyone will love: renewable power. Following a successful pilot program in 2009, Lindt USA and Public Service of New Hampshire have struck a partnership agreement for the burning of cocoa bean shells to produce electricity at PSNH’s Schiller Station power plant in Portsmouth.

The cocoa bean shells are a byproduct of Lindt’s manufacturing process at its nearby facility in Stratham. The company recently expanded its facility to incorporate the chocolate production process, which had previously taken place in Europe.

A test burn of cocoa shells—which are designated by the state of New Hampshire as a biomass fuel—in March 2009 demonstrated that a 30:1 blend of coal and cocoa shells can be successfully integrated in one of the power plant’s two existing coal boilers. (A third boiler, Northern Wood Power, burns clean wood chips, exclusively.)

Last month, New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services approved PSNH and Lindt’s plan to incorporate cocoa bean shells as a supplementary fuel source at Schiller Station on a more permanent basis. Lindt is expected to soon deliver the first load of shells to be burned under the agreement.

“This program is a win-win,” noted Thomas Linemayr, President and CEO Lindt USA. “We are reducing our own carbon impact by shortening the production process, and now by disposing of a byproduct in a responsible manner that benefits PSNH and its customers.”

“This is one of many steps we’ve taken to continuously improve our environmental programs,” said Bill Smagula, PSNH Director – Generation. “It will allow us to replace a portion of coal with a portion of biomass, and that’s another step in the right direction.” According to Smagula, every ton of cocoa bean shells used to generate electricity for PSNH customers will displace the need to burn one half-ton of coal.

The burning of biomass at Schiller Station reduces the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that the power plant would otherwise emit through the burning of fossil fuels. That helps meet requirements of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cooperative agreement among 10 states in the Northeast, including New Hampshire, to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel power plants.

MEDIA CONTACT:Martin MurraySenior Corporate News Representative
Office:603-634-2228murrame at psnh dot com
After Hours:1-800-662-7764psnhnews.com

PSNH is New Hampshire's largest electric utility, generating and distributing clean electricity for more than 490,000 homes and businesses in an environmentally friendly manner. Each year, PSNH supports dozens of forest protection, energy conservation, and environmental organizations through both financial contributions and generous employee volunteerism. PSNH is proud of its commitment to the environment and willingness to create innovative solutions to environmental issues. For more information on PSNH, please visit http://psnh.com.

Founded in 1845, Lindt & Sprungli is a global leader in the premium chocolate category, offering high-quality products in more than 80 countries. Lindt & Sprungli operates eight production facilities in Europe and the United States and employs 6,300 worldwide. Lindt USA operates more than 70 retail stores throughout the country and maintains wide distribution through extensive retail and wholesale channels. For more information on Lindt, visit http://lindt.com 

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