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Senators back Ogdensburg biomass plant proposal

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OGDENSBURG — State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, and Senate Energy Committee Chairman George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, urged Tuesday that the owners of the 25-megawatt Ag Energy LP cogeneration plant located on the grounds of the state-run St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center be allowed to build a biomass boiler that would convert wood chips to electricity. The electricity could be sold at low cost to the state hospital and the nearby Ogdensburg Correctional Facility.

The lawmakers toured the plant Tuesday morning.

The plant currently provides free steam heat to the psychiatric hospital and the prison in exchange for existing rent-free on the state land.

Ag Energy LP Vice President of Operations Greg Sharland has said he envisions a small-scale microgrid electricity system that would sell power to the state over the duration of a 15-year contract.

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