Power outage planned as Fort Drum switches from biomass plant to National Grid

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 1:57 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 4:00 PM EDT
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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - Fort Drum will experience a power outage early Friday morning as the post switches over to getting its power from National Grid.

March 31 has long been the day the ReEnergy biomass plant, which provides the Army installation with all its power, would shut down.

That action is the result of New York state deciding incentives given for renewable energy production would no longer go to biomass energy plants.

The company has a petition in front of the state asking for a waiver, but Friday is the day.

ReEnergy says it stopped taking in wood chips to make the energy last week.

The 28 people working at the plant are expected to be laid off in April.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been fighting to keep the plant open by lobbying state lawmakers to issue the waiver to keep Fort Drum energy-independent.

“I just don’t think there’s enough time to get them to stop mothballing it or to get the legislature to issue the waiver. I’ve tried very hard but we did not get the response we needed,” she said.

As Fort Drum switches over to National Grid for energy, a widespread power outage will happen on post between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Friday.