Construction to start on new NH wood-burning plant

Construction is expected to start this month on a new wood-burning plant in Concord, N.H.

Financing for the $70 million plant by Concord Steam had been uncertain for years. The new plant would replace an aging one on the New Hampshire Hospital campus.

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The Concord Monitor reports the city and state governments agreed last year to buy power from Concord Steam for at least 10 years. The contracts require the plant to be operational by Jan. 1, 2014.

Concord Steam president Peter Bloomfield said the project is moving forward.

The company will meet with city officials in the next few weeks to discuss the construction timeline, said Carlos Baia, deputy city manager for development.

Concord Steam bought land in 2007 for the new plant, which would provide steam heat and hot water to more than 130 downtown buildings. The city’s planning and zoning board approved the plan in 2008.

The project has been delayed as Concord Steam sought financing, as well as customers for electric power it will produce in addition to heat.

Bloomfield said the company can’t yet release details about its ‘‘complicated package’’ for financing due to confidentiality agreements. But he said the project is ‘‘all set to go.’’