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Featured Article

Biomass plants in the Northeast scramble to change business model

Biomass plants in the Northeast scramble to change business model

In the Northeast, biomass electricity plants are staring at some tough economics. For many standalone wood-fired electricity plants, the cost of fuel (wood chips) and operations exceed what they get paid for the electricity they generate. With natural gas (and thus wholesale electricity) prices expected to remain low—and state-level support for biomass fading—biomass plants are working hard to figure out how to continue operating.

New Hampshire and Maine have provided some short-term support to biomass electricity facilities in recent years with the expectation that the funding was a bridge to allow time for new economic models to be developed. We’re now starting to see some real efforts to find ways to improve the economic sustainability of these facilities, often in ways that add to the rural economy.

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European investors to fund $53-million bio-coal plant

European investors to fund $53-million bio-coal plant

Baltania OÜ, a torrefied bio-coal pellet prodecer and 100% owned subsidiary of Dutch private equity investment firm Momentum Capital, announced that it has made a conditional investment decision to commission an industrial-scale torrefaction bio-coal plant in Vägari, Estonia.

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How mass timber could transform our cities (really)

How mass timber could transform our cities (really)

Mass timber is having its Maison Dom-Ino moment. At the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, a curious structure sat on the grass near the international pavilion in the Giardini. It was an engineered timber version of Le Corbusier’s Maison Dom-Ino, the seminal, prototypical reinforced concrete project, which was celebrating its 100th birthday.

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Portland awarded $6 million to construct all wood affordable housing unit

Portland awarded $6 million to construct all wood affordable housing unit

From The Framework Project: Home Forward, project, and the Framework team announced today that it has been awarded $6 million to develop 60 units of affordable housing in what will be the first high-rise structure in the U.S. made from wood and the first earthquake-resilient building of its kind in America.

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