Ryegate Power Station Shuts Down Due to Wood Supply Crunch

In a November 21 email to state energy officials, Larry Anderson, plant manager, said chip loads had dropped from 40 per day to 10. The three-week shutdown was needed just to get enough chip inventory built up to operate the plant for a week. If the rate of chip deliveries didn’t increase, the shutdown could be as long as six weeks, he wrote.

The plant employs about 21 people and supports about 250 more in the region.

“It’s not just the loggers that are getting hosed,” Snyder said. “It’s what they do for the rest of us that is so important.”

to make steam that spins turbines to generate electricity.

But much of Stored Solar’s financial troubles stem from New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu 2018 decision to veto legislation that would have continued subsidizing the state’s biomass plants. Since Ryegate’s power is generated by wood, it is considered renewable and therefore subsidized by Vermont to the tune of about $5 million a year.

One of Vermont’s two wood-fired power plants has temporarily shut down as loggers who fear they won’t be paid have stopped delivering wood chips to Ryegate Power Station.The 20-megawatt plant shut down on November 23 and will stay closed for at least three weeks as it tries to rebuild the supply of wood chips it needs to generate electricity for the state’s power grid.The plant provides about 3 percent of the state’s electric power needs.The shutdown comes amid turmoil in the regional biomass power market and complaints that the plant’s