from AOL Energy post
By Peter Gardett Published: October 20, 2011
Utility executives appeared confident in the projects’ appeal for regulators as they signed an agreement with biomass fuel producer Enviva to provide woody biomass fuel to two of the power plants. Both plants, one located in Southampton and the other in Hopewell, Virginia, are set to convert from 63MW coal-fired facilities to 50MW biomass-fueled plants under current plans.
Enviva CEO John Keppler noted that Dominion was leading other utilities in embracing “the power of biomass.” The fuel has come under attack from environmentalists concerned about its carbon dioxide emissions profile and the impact it could have on local forests.
Enviva stressed that it is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and that it will contract out for its wood from loggers practicing “sustainable, responsible” forest management. The popularity of biomass in states like Virginia, where the paper and wood construction businesses have suffered through the extended economic downturn, is underpinned by the prospect of keeping forestry operations and sawmills in operation.
“The supply agreement with Dominion will create jobs throughout Enviva’s logging and forestry supply chain,” the company said in announcing the agreement.