ReEnergy Holdings, an MFPC member and the owner of four biomass-to-energy facilities in Maine, announced June 13 that it has achieved certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Standard, which verifies that its biomass procurement program promotes land stewardship and responsible forestry practices. ReEnergy is the first company solely devoted to electricity production to be certified to the SFI Standard.
“I believe we can achieve a balance – a balance between preservation of natural treasures and improvement of the Maine business climate in a manner that allows the private sector to create jobs. ReEnergy exemplifies the qualities of a company that is working to achieve that balance of promoting land stewardship and forestry practices,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “ReEnergy’s commitment to best management practices and a true working forest model is commendable, and demonstrates how working together we can all protect Maine’s valuable resources. I believe that one of the best ways to protect our natural assets is to assure we always have a strong and sustainable economic interest in the health and vitality of farmlands, forests, and coastline.”
SFI, Inc. is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving a sustainable forestry certification program that is internationally recognized and is the largest single forest standard in the world. The SFI Standard is based on principles and measures that promote sustainable forest management and consider all forest values. It includes unique fiber-sourcing requirements to promote responsible forest management on all forestlands in North America.
“We recognize the commitment and effort ReEnergy has made to procure fiber from responsible sources,” said Kathy Abusow, SFI president and CEO. “The SFI Standard promotes responsible forest management for all forest uses. Third-party certification to SFI Fiber Sourcing requirements promotes best management practices for water quality, logger training and prompt regeneration of the forest.”
ReEnergy earned the certification by meeting the fiber sourcing requirements of the SFI 2010-2014 Standard (Objectives 8-20). This includes an auditable procurement process to promote responsible forestry requiring that producers, among other things, support logger and forester training and encourage suppliers in North America to reforest harvested sites, protect threatened and endangered species, and strengthen best management practices to protect water quality.
“ReEnergy believes that sustainable, renewable energy production is essential to reducing the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels and is committed to creating renewable sources of electricity while respecting the environment,” said Larry Richardson, Chief Executive Officer of ReEnergy Holdings. “In securing SFI certification, ReEnergy has committed to broaden the practice of sustainable forestry with its suppliers and wood producers. Promoting sustainable forestry practices allows ReEnergy to meet the environmental and social needs of the present without compromising the needs and resources of future generations.”
To achieve the SFI Standard Principles, Objectives, Performance Measures and Indicators, ReEnergy developed and adopted programs to guide its wood fuel procurement activities. ReEnergy has committed to annually review the effectiveness of its SFI Policy, procedures, and systems and to continually improve its sustainable forestry program. This is an important element of the SFI program, as it fosters perpetual improvement and independent third-party audits to certify ongoing conformance.
ReEnergy’s policy is to locate its facilities in regions capable of supplying raw materials while simultaneously ensuring the long-term sustainability of the forests where those facilities are located. The company owns four biomass-to-energy facilities in Maine: ReEnergy Stratton (48 MW); ReEnergy Livermore Falls (39 MW); ReEnergy Fort Fairfield (37 MW) and ReEnergy Ashland (39 MW). These facilities create renewable, homegrown renewable energy for their local communities.
“It is truly exciting for these Maine biopower facilities to be recognized as first in the world to achieve such important certification,” said Sen. Thomas Saviello (R-Wilton), a forester and state Senator for the ReEnergy Stratton facility. “This reflects ReEnergy’s respect for the environment and its commitment to land stewardship and reforestation. I congratulate ReEnergy on this tremendous achievement.”
“ReEnergy is leading the industry in using sustainably harvested biomass. I commend the company for this significant advancement of clean energy.”
ReEnergy worked closely with the Maine Forest Products Council in seeking certification, and has become an active member of the Council’s SFI Implementation Committee. “As part of their commitment to SFI Certification, ReEnergy has committed to support the Maine SFI Implementation Committee, which is the coordinating entity for many of the education and outreach programs available for suppliers and landowners,” said Patrick Sirois, Director of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative. “ReEnergy’s support and unique procurement network will provide yet another avenue to broaden the practices of sustainability, on the ground in Maine.”
How biomass-to-energy facilities work
When trees are harvested, the entire tree is not shipped to a sawmill or paper mill. Some parts of the tree, including branches and tops, are not suitable for the making of products. However, that residue is a valuable resource that — using state-of-the-art technology — can be converted to fuel to produce energy.
In biomass power plants, forest residues or other residue fuels are converted into steam that can be sold directly to nearby businesses, or is used to run a turbine to make electricity for use by industries and homes. Highly advanced combustion engineering and process controls minimize emissions from biomass fuel sources when compared with fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil.
About ReEnergy Holdings LLC
ReEnergy Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of Riverstone Holdings LLC, owns and operates facilities that use forest-derived woody biomass and other wood waste residues to produce homegrown, renewable energy. It also owns facilities that recycle construction and demolition debris. ReEnergy was formed in 2008 by affiliates of Riverstone Holdings LLC and a senior management/co-investor team comprised of experienced industry professionals. ReEnergy operates in six states, employs approximately 290 people – nearly 100 in Maine — and owns and/or operates nine energy production facilities with the combined capacity to generate 325 megawatts of renewable energy. To find out more, visit www.reenergyholdings.com.