Artist's rendering of Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative's planned biomass facility in Halifax County, Virginia.
Illustration courtesy of NOVEC.
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) has announced a plan to construct and operate a new 49.95-MW biomass power plant in Halifax County, Virginia.
Located in near to timber industry, the plant will burn “slash” – wood waste left from logging operations in forests– to produce steam that will in turn fire generators.
The co-op has been looking for ways to diversify its energy portfolio using renewable resources. Biomass, which uses a plentiful product that would otherwise go to waste, made sense to co-op leaders.
According to Mike Dailey, vice president of business development and energy systems, “It won’t add any more greenhouse gases to the ecosystem than what would be released through natural decomposition. We want to add more renewable energy to our resource mix. This biomass power plant will help us meet our goal.”
The plant was recently approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Not only is biomass a green option for the co-op, constructing the plant will also help boost the local economy: 300-400 construction jobs will be created, along with 25 full-time positions. Additionally, it will indirectly sustain 150 logging jobs.