Southern Virginia prepares to build biomass power plant

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) is preparing to build a biomass plant in South Boston, Virginia, using the wood waste left over from the local logging companies. NOVEC is a locally based and locally owned electric distribution system headquartered in Manassas, Virginia.

Michal Dailey, NOVEC vice president, business development and energy services, says the renewable energy plant will be “carbon neutral.” In other words, it will not add any more carbon dioxide to the ecosystem than what would be released through natural decomposition.

Dailey anticipates that the plant will generate 6.5% of NOVEC’s power requirements by 2014 – enough to supply electricity to about 10,000 NOVEC customers.

NOVI Energy, an entrepreneurial company (Michigan-based) that provides a broad range of services in energy consulting, energy management, and energy infrastructure project development, will oversee full construction of the plant. The company anticipates hiring 300-400 workers to build the plant and up to 40 full-time employees to operate it. In addition, NOVI estimates the project will sustain approximately 150 indirect wood-chip-harvesting jobs in Halifax County and in the southern Virginia region.

Of Virginia’s 23 community colleges, Danville Community College and Southside Virginia Community College are in close proximity of this new renewable energy plant.

Click here to learn more about campus renewable energy projects.

Click here to learn more about The Greenforce Initiative in Virginia.

Content reference: Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative Living Magazine, February 2011

Image credit: Microsoft Clipart