Virginia biomass projects receive $10 million in federal stimulus

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Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced that 15 biomass and waste-to-energy projects in Virginia will receive $10 million grants under federal stimulus money.

“These grants will support projects that offer a much needed boost to communities throughout Southside and Southwest Virginia today while paving the way to a greener, cleaner tomorrow,” Kaine said in a statement. 

The usage of waste materials from activities such as logging, manufacturing, agricultural and municipal operations can reduce the use of traditional fuels and reduce waste disposal costs.

Recipients of the grant include:

•        Cephas Industries Inc., of Richmond, will receive $500,000 (of a $2.3 million project) to develop a way to convert construction and demolition wastes to fuel.

•        Christiansburg Water Treatment Facility will receive $336,550, (of a $486,550 project) to create methane gas from water treatment operations to generate heat and power, saving $32,000 per year.

•        Community Energy Independence will receive $827,102 (of a $50 million project) to complete engineering and project development of a landfill gasification project near Warrenton.

•        Dairy Energy Inc. of Chatham, will receive $1 million to install the state’s commercially-sized dairy anaerobic digester project.

•        Environmental Solutions Inc. of the Chesterfield, will receive $500,000 (of a $2.4 million project), to expand a biomass fuel production and fiber utilization operation.

•        Wood Fuel Developers, will receive $1 million (of a $15.9 million project) to create the Greensville Wood Pellets production facility in Greensville County.

•        Martinsville Sanitary Landfill, will receive $1 million (of a $3.4 million project) to utilize landfill gas to generate electricity to meet 3.5 percent of the city’s annual need.

•        Piedmont Geriatric Hospital of Nottoway County, will receive $700,000, (of a $1.7 million project) to support a biomass boiler project at the hospital.

•        Red Birch Energy Inc. of Bassett, Virginia, will receive $750,000 (of a $1.2 million project), to utilize glycerin, a waste-product of their biodiesel production process, to power a microturbine to generate electricity.

•        Western Virginia Water Authority will receive $500,000 to install a heat and power generation system at the Roanoke Regional Water Pollution Control Plant, using excess biogas produced in the anaerobic sludge digestion process.  This project will use the heat from the process to heat and cool the buildings at the facility and generate 8 million kilowatt hours per year, offsetting 40 percent of the facility’s power needs.

•        Rockingham Regional Hospital in Harrisonburg, will receive $583,848 (of a $876,168 project) to install or retrofit three boilers to heat and provide hot water at the main hospital and Women’s Health Center to be fueled by methane gas generated by the nearby landfill.       


•        Toigo’s King George Greenhouse will receive $1 million (of $19.1 million project), to install a heat recovery steam generator at the King George Landfill and pipe the steam to heat the greenhouse, saving the use of 430,000 gallons of heating oil and creating more than 100 full-time jobs. 

•        Wise Correctional Unit 18 in Coeburn, Virginia, will receive $60,000 (of an $83,000 project) for the installation of an 800,000 btu biomass boiler which will provide heat for two greenhouses, and VDOT offices and garage.  The wood chips to fuel the boiler will come from VDOT right-of-way clearings and from prunings of an on-site orchard at the correctional unit. 


•        Women’s Correctional Center in Goochland County, will receive $942,500 (of a $1.1 million project), to convert two boilers to be co-fueled with biomass and coal and one boiler to burn biodiesel.  Use of biomass in these boilers will stimulate the wood fuels market in Virginia, and is projected to save $495,000 annually.

•        Ag-Renewable Resources LLC of Cumberland County, will receive $300,000 (of a $7.8 million project), to construct an anaerobic digester to use poultry waste to generate methane and generate 1.1 megawatt of electricity.  The project will also produce 14 metric tons per day of treated solids that can be used for agricultural fertilizer. 

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