Wood-Fired Power Plants
Wood-fired power plants (also known as “biomass” plants) burn wood chips and other low-grade wood materials in order to produce steam, which then powers a turbine to generate electricity. Biomass plants that burn clean wood materials, such as PSNH’s Northern Wood Power Plant, are considered carbon-neutral.
Wood-fired power plants are generally more reliable than other renewable energy sources because they can run day or night, without regard to weather conditions (e.g. sun, wind, etc.).
Studies cited by the U.S. Department of Energy indicate that New Hampshire has excellent potential for developing more wood-fired power plants.
Wood Power Advantages
- Abundant forest resources (New Hampshire is 84 percent forest land)
- Capable of larger-scale electricity production
- Available day or night, without regard to weather conditions
- Offsets the use of fossil fuels
Wood Power Limitations
- Finite supply of sustainable wood fuel in the region.
- Wood-fired plants must be proximate to forest lands to keep fuel costs lower