Anna Simet, Biomass Magazine
When the idea of converting a shuttered paper mill in Berlin, New Hampshire, to a biomass power plant was first conceived by CS Operations Inc. in 2012, the developer had much more in mind than solely generating electricity from forest residue. Opportunity at the site was ripe, but added-value projects would come much further down the road, after several years of construction, operations and optimization. Fast-forward to today, and that point has finally reached.
Being a new, large-scale, solid fuel power generation facility, there were some initial challenges during the ramp-up process, but for the past few years, the plant has been running at a 90-plus percent capacity factor. “That’s pretty high for a solid-fuel power plant,” says Dammon Frecker, executive vice president at CS Operations. “It’s very efficient because of the boiler’s bubbling fluidized bed design."
Babcock & Wilcox was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the conversion project, appropriate as the company had installed the existing boiler in 1993, replacing two aging black liquor recovery boilers. Other updates needed to transform Burgess BioPower into a fully functioning biomass power facility included a new turbine/generator, cooling towers, electrical switchgear with associated supporting auxiliaries, state-of-the-art air quality control systems, and a new wood yard.