Contact: NOVEC Public Relations, 1-888-335-0500, email@example.com
NORTHERN VIRGINIA – The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative marked progress made at its NOVEC Energy Production, Halifax County Biomass plant on Nov. 17, 2011, at the Halifax Country Club, in Halifax, Va. The gathering of 85 workers, guests and dignitaries heard from United States Deputy Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien; Virginia Delegate James Edmunds II; South Boston Vice Mayor Edward Owens; Halifax County Board Chairman Thomas West; Executive Director Mike Sexton, Halifax Industrial Development Authority; as well as NOVEC President/CEO Stan Feuerberg.
Sexton expressed his gratitude to NOVEC and its development partner, NOVI Energy, for bringing jobs to the County. He said, “There will be a lot of people thankful for having jobs this Thanksgiving because of the plant.”
Fagen, Inc., the general contractor for the biomass project, has more than 100 workers currently on site and they expect to hire a construction workforce of 250 to 300 workers as the plant proceeds. Once completed in 2013, 26 full-time workers will be hired to run the plant, which will generate almost 50 megawatts of electricity for NOVEC customers.
In addition to bringing jobs to the Southside region, the project will bring Halifax County approximately $600,000 annually in property taxes.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced in October 2011 that the Rural Utility Service would loan NOVEC $90 million to build the plant. The money will come from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). He said, “It’s a pretty exciting opportunity for several hundred jobs to be created immediately and provide renewable energy.”
Deputy Undersecretary O’Brien said on Nov. 17, “The Obama Administration is assisting cooperatives, small businesses, farmers and ranchers, as they work to reduce their energy costs. When energy costs are reduced, American rural businesses become more competitive, allowing them to expand and create jobs."
Halifax Delegate Edmunds stressed that the Southside region needs jobs.
Feuerberg explained that the plant will burn wood leftover from the region’s logging industries to create electricity. He noted that forestry consultants have determined that there is an abundance of wood waste within a 75-mile radius of the facility.
NOVEC will own the plant, which will generate up to 6.5 percent of the Co-op’s energy requirements by 2014 -- enough to serve the equivalent of approximately 16,000 residential customers.