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ABB to build transformers for local biomass plant

SoVaNow.com / September 27, 2012
ABB in South Boston has won an order from the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) and its development partner, NOVI Energy, to build two small transformers for the biomass power project now being built at the former site of Georgia-Pacific.

In 2008, the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority, relying on state and tobacco funds, funded the expansion of ABB’s 90,000 square foot facility in South Boston. Today ABB is using the expanded area to build small power transformers that will support the renewable energy project locally.

NOVI Energy is the project developer of the NOVEC Energy Production-Halifax County Biomass facility (NEPHCB), a 49.9 megawatt wood and biomass-fueled electric generation project. It is currently under construction at a 104 acre site in South Boston. The plant is expected to be in operation by mid-2013.

The plant will draw fuel from the local forest products industry, including waste wood from regional timbering operations and manufacturing at mills.

The transformers will be used to step up the voltage to run the power plant. They are the largest transformers ever supplied by the ABB South Boston plant to be used in the local community.

“ABB has had a long term presence in Virginia and has greatly contributed in many ways to the South Boston community,” said Fred Mistal, consultant to NOVEC Energy Production. “So it is a privilege to partner with ABB in setting up this unique, green application known as the NOVEC Energy Production, Halifax County Biomass plant.

“ABB is a world-class provider of transformers, but they are also a local supplier wanting to re-invest in this community,” he added.

The new power plant will have the capacity to process as much as 600,000 tons of waste wood annually into renewable electric energy. An independent fuel study was completed with the results indicating an abundance of waste wood is available within a 75-mile radius of the facility from both regional logging operations and manufacturing facilities associated with the forest products industry.

Power produced at the new plant will enter the regional transmission system at the local Dominion Virginia Power substation, or nearby transmission to help serve the energy requirements of the customer-owners of NOVEC.

“When I learned about this project, I knew I had to support the community with a high quality ABB transformer, especially since it’s going to be installed behind my house,” said Brian Raney, ABB EPC Market Manager.



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