U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine will host a Senate committee field hearing Friday at Robbins Lumber, a fifth-generation family-owned sawmill in Searsmont.

The hearing will focus on how combined heat and power – which uses onsite thermal energy to generate electricity – and microgrid technology can help sustain and strengthen rural industries and create jobs with sustainable resources.

The session, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will include a tour of Robbins Lumber, which is building a combined heat and power plant to generate electricity and steam heat from wood waste produced by logging operations and sawmills.

The hearing will examine efficient approaches to stabilizing industrial energy costs and providing innovative solutions to increasing markets for forest product residuals. It will include witnesses from the Maine forest products and energy industries and the director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office in the Department of Energy.