Progress for proposed co-located CHP and pellet plants

By Anna Austin | December 28, 2011

Plans for a 34 MW combined-heat-and-power (CHP) facility that will be co-located with a pellet plant are moving along in Fair Haven, Vt., despite continued development suspension of an identical plant in a nearby town.

Beaver Wood Energy had proposed to build the additional plant in Pownal, Vt., about 70 miles north of Fair Haven. Although the company saw considerable opposition to the Pownal project across the local community and neighboring town of Williamstown, Mass., Tom Emero, managing director of development and operations for Beaver Wood Energy, has said the decision to put the project on hold is not related to the negative local feedback.

Rather, he said, it is because Vermont currently has an appetite for only one power project of the proposed size.

Nine months after sliding the Pownal project to the back burner, Emero said the company is on schedule with the Fair Haven facility. “We’re in the middle of the permitting process, with our air permit expected any day,” he said.

When complete, heat and steam generated at the cogeneration plant will be used to support the 110,000-ton-per-year pellet plant’s manufacturing operations, and excess heat will be used to fuel 10 acres of local greenhouses. Electricity produced will be enough to power 34,000 homes. 

Emero anticipates construction of the plant, which the company expects will annually inject $35 million into the local economy through taxes, wages and business activity, to begin late this year or in early 2013. He added that community support for the project has been and remains very positive.