Bills put forward to allow East Millinocket mill to sell power

8:07 PM, Feb 18, 2014   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Maine legislators are still working on ways to end the shutdown at the East Millinocket paper mill.

Two bills have been drawn up that would allow the mill to make money off the power it doesn't use. The mill gets its power from hydro dams on the Penobscot River.

Under current law the mill cannot sell back electricity on the market. That restriction was put in place a decade ago when the mill and the dams were owned by the same company.

Efforts are now underway to change that law. The LePage administration has put forward a bill that would lift the mill's restriction to sell power. State senator Troy Jackson of Allagash has sponsored a similar bill.

A spokesman for the mill says selling power is critical to getting it back online.

"Again every other mill in Maine is allowed to do this," said Scott Tranchmontagne, who is a spokesperson for Cate Street Capital, "and it's a situation where it doesn't happen that often..ya know there are only certain times for really peak demand for electricity."

The hydro dams are owned by Brookfield Asset Management, which sells power to the mill. Brookfield and the mill are discussing changing that arrangement.


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