NORTHERN VIRGINIA – On Nov. 9, 2010, the Virginia State Corporation Commission gave the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative and its development partner, NOVI Energy, interim authority to begin preliminary construction work on a 49.95 megawatt “green” biomass power plant in South Boston, Va. The plant will serve NOVEC’s customer-owners.
NOVI Energy, a Michigan-based energy services company, is completing the development tasks necessary to advance the project. NOVI Energy will oversee full construction of the plant once the SCC approves South Boston Energy’s application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NOVI Energy expects the plant to start generating electricity in 2013. By proceeding with preliminary construction of the facility before the end of the year, NOVEC expects to qualify for an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant.
NOVI Energy anticipates needing 300 to 400 workers to construct the plant and up to 40 full-time employees to operate it.
“Being good stewards of the environment has always been a priority at NOVEC,” said Co-op President/CEO Stan Feuerberg. “Currently, we distribute electricity generated by renewable hydropower and landfill gases, and we have been actively seeking an appropriate way to increase the amount of alternative energy in our resource portfolio. The biomass power plant will help us meet our goal. We expect it to supply up to 6.5 percent of our power requirements by 2014. That’s enough to serve the equivalent of 10,000 customers.”
Anand Gangadharan, president and CEO of NOVI Energy, agrees with Feuerberg about the renewable energy project. Gangadharan said, “We are indeed fortunate to have partnered with NOVEC, which shares our vision of this project.”
John Rainey, NOVEC senior energy contracts originator, says the proposed plant will rely on wood waste – or “slash” – on forest floors for fuel. Rainey notes that forestry consultants have determined that there is an abundance of slash within a 75-mile radius of the proposed Halifax County facility.
Rainey says the plant will be “carbon neutral.” In other words, it will not add any more carbon dioxide to the environment beyond what is released through natural decomposition of slash.
“Unlike coal-fired plants that add some sulfur and mercury to the air, this biomass plant will not emit any toxic elements,” Rainey explains. “Furthermore, the proposed plant will be cooled with ‘gray’ water from a nearby wastewater treatment facility in a closed loop. Therefore, the plant won’t use thousands of gallons of clean water every day from the local water authority.”
Dwayne Walker, NOVI Energy’s manager of Project Services, points out that the plant will not be visible from adjoining roadways, because it will be tucked inside 104 acres of woods.
Mike Dailey, NOVEC’s vice president of Business Development and Energy Services, highlights the potential economic benefits to the Southwest Virginia region through new tax revenues and new employment: “This project will create a unique tie among the members of NOVEC, the residents of South Boston, and those of Halifax County -- a model that has potential for the rest of the Commonwealth. Right now it looks like a win-win-win for everyone.”
NOVI Energy is an entrepreneurial company that provides a broad range of services in energy consulting, energy management and energy infrastructure project development for utility, industrial, institutional and commercial companies across the United States and the world. For more information, visit www.novienergy.com or call 248-735-6684.
NOVEC is a not-for-profit corporation that distributes electricity and energy services to more than 145,000 customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford and Clarke counties, and the City of Manassas Park, making it one of the largest electric distribution cooperatives in the nation. For more information, visit www.novec.com or call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.
Contact: Priscilla Knight, 703-392-1580, email@example.com