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Halifax County biomass plant fired up by Virginia cooperative

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Northern Virginia Electric cooperative, its development partner, Novi Energy, and a number of Virginia state officials celebrated the grand opening of the Novec Energy Production Halifax County Biomass plant in South Boston, US earlier this month.

The $178 million (€131 million) renewable-energy power plant, which can generate up to 49.9MW of electricity, burns wood chips for fuel. The plant is capable of providing enough electricity to power the equivalent of 16,000 Novec homes, but all of the cooperative's 150,000 customers will share in 'green' power distribution.

Novec President and CEO Stan Feuerberg has noted some of the environmentally friendly attributes of the plant. Burning waste wood adds no new source of contaminates to the environment and the facility will not emit mercury or sulphur into the air. Furthermore, he adds that the plant is cooled in a closed loop primarily with water reclaimed from a nearby wastewater treatment facility.

According to information published by Novec, Novi energy managed full construction of the plant. Fagen was the turn-key engineering, procurement and construction contractor. The facility will sell the power it generates to Novec. The biomass-fired plant is expected to supply up to 6.5% of the Virginia cooperative's power requirements.