End of wood-burning plant plans sparks reactions

Associated Press Published: November 4, 2012

RUSSELL, Mass. (AP) — Advocates for a proposed wood-burning electricity plant in Russell says they're disappointed the project is dead, and blamed stifling Massachusetts regulations

But opponents of the Russell Biomass project said the plant's inefficiency was what did it in, not regulations aimed at ensuring that renewable energy projects don't make climate change worse.

Last week, Russell Biomass LLC announced it could no longer move ahead with the $165 million, 50-megawatt plant, proposed in 2005. They said the state's new efficiency regulations made the plant financially unworkable.

The Russell First group says the plant could have brought local tax and job benefits, and it was "mind-boggling" that lawmakers ignored advances in biomass science. But the Partnership for Policy Integrity said the Russell plant would have given off pollution similar to a coal plant.