State seeks businesses to buy electricity from power plant

January 2, 2020 GMT

NORTHUMBERLAND, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire is recruiting businesses to move onto the site of a former paper mill where a new power plant is expected to open next year.

Utah-based Q Hydrogen Solutions is using part of the former Wausau Paper Mill site in the village of Groveton to build a hydrogen power plant and wants other companies to move in and use that power, New Hampshire Public Radio reported Tuesday.

The plant would provide cheap, renewable energy for tenants, developer Whit Irvin, Jr., of Q Hydrogen Solutions, said.

The power could be sold on the regional grid, but Irvin said he prefers to co-locate business in the plant and sell the power to them directly.

The plant will use water from the Upper Ammonoosuc River and convert the hydrogen in that water to electricity.

Irvin said he had originally hoped to sell the power to a data center that planned to move into the mill, but that deal fell through.

The only other company at the mill right now is a metal fabricator.

The state is working with the site’s owner to recruit businesses and is looking to recruit manufacturing, energy and agriculture companies, among others. They hope to create at least 500 jobs — about how many were lost when the mill closed in 2008.

Officials hope to have businesses committed to the space by mid-2020 when the power plant is expected to be up and running.