Canadian Biomass Magazine

CHP biomass plant slated for Vermont

December 29, 2011
By Scott Jamieson

Dec 29, 2011, Springfield, VT - A combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant slated for southern Vermont will generate $15 million in local forest revenue, heat for a local business park, and 160 permanent positions.

developer Adam Winstanley of Winstanley Enterprises announced today
that the company has entered into a joint venture agreement with Weston
, Inc. of
Concord, NH, and West Chester, PA for the development of a 25-35
megawatt woodchip-burning electric generating plant in the North
Springfield Industrial Park. The companies filed a petition earlier
today for a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service
Board for the project, which is known as the North Springfield
Sustainable Energy Project ("NSSEP"). The project has been in the
planning stages for several years, and was first announced to the public
in February, 2009.

First announced in 2009, the NSSEP is
expected to create more than 600 jobs during its 18 month construction
period, 400 of which will be in the two county regions of Windsor and
Windham counties. After the plant is commissioned in 2014, it will
contribute to some 160 ongoing jobs in Vermont, with a payroll of nearly
$9 million annually. State tax revenues are estimated at approximately
$4 million during construction and approximately $3 million per year
from 2014 on. Approximately $15 million is expected in annual wood
purchases from local foresters, roughly two-thirds of which would come
from Vermont sources, and the Town of Springfield expects approximately
$2 million in net annual increases to its budgeted revenues.

A key element of this project that
separates it from virtually all other commercial scale renewable energy
projects in Vermont is NSSEP's plan to utilize the plant's thermal waste
to provide low cost heat to the North Springfield Industrial Park
tenants through a "thermal loop". In keeping with Winstanley
Enterprises' long-term strategic commitment to Vermont, NSSEP intends to
provide below-market heat to users in the park to retain current
tenants and to promote additional development.

"Adam Winstanley and his family have
done everything right in working with local officials to bring this
project from concept to permitting," said Bob Flint, executive director
of the Springfield Regional Development Corporation. "The NSSEP provides
both a renewable energy resource and the commercial benefits of a
unique thermal energy loop that will attract new industries to the park,
making it a hub of economic activity in an area that badly needs a shot
of adrenaline."


Winstanley Enterprises is a family-owned
company with headquarters in Concord, MA. It has a long and respected
track record throughout New England for renovating vacant and
underutilized properties. Its developments in Vermont include projects
in both Brattleboro and Springfield.

In Weston Winstanley has a partner who
shares its commitment to working closely with local officials on
projects that are not only economically viable and ecologically
sustainable, but also meet the best interests of the community. For more
than 50 years, Weston has worked nationally and globally on a broad
range of sustainable projects, from redeveloping contaminated properties
to developing community-scaled renewable/clean energy projects. Among
its projects are a coal-to-biomass fuel boiler conversion in Michigan
and photovoltaic power systems for the city of Newark, NJ, and on a
Superfund site in southeastern Massachusetts.

"Weston seeks actively to engage
community stakeholders throughout the development process to gain their
input and advice; and just as importantly, we look to become an active
and positive member of the community," said Kathleen McGinty, WESTON
senior vice president and managing director for strategic growth. "Adam
Winstanley and his team are good partners for us because they live these
values as well. We are impressed by their two years of work in and with
community residents and leaders, and we are thrilled to join an effort
that delivers solid economic and environmental benefits."

"Today's CPG announcement is the
culmination of a lot of people's hard work," Winstanley said. "I am
convinced that this project, which will bring clean power and green jobs
to the Springfield area, will be a real boon to the economy in this
region and a real asset to Springfield, Windsor County and the State of
Vermont. This project makes sense for all of the right reasons, and we
are pleased with the support we have gotten from the Springfield

The project will take approximately a
year and a half to construct after permits are obtained. It is expected
that the plant would be commissioned in the middle or last half of 2014.

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