South Boston, VA - It was a big day in Halifax County where many partners came together for the opening of the South Boston Energy Plant.
The biomass facility, owned by the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, uses green resources to generate 49 megawatts of electricity. That's enough to power 16,000 homes.
After years of working together behind the scenes, officials from NOVEC, the town of South Boston, and countless others, finally opened the doors to their new plant.
At a luncheon, leaders described just what it took to bring the $178 million investment to life.
"Vision, cooperation with local officials, perseverance and, most of all, teamwork, " said President/CEO Stan Feuerberg.
The site was once a Georgia-Pacific timber facility. Officials say the location caught their eye because of the plentiful wood in Halifax County.
"The plant will be here for 30, 40, 50 years, so we need to be sure there is enough fuel here to fuel it, " said NOVEC official Michael Dailey.
The plant uses leftover scraps from timber harvesting and greywater from sewage treatment plants to generate power.
That power will then provide electricity for thousands of homes in Northern Virginia. South Boston Mayor Ed Owens says he is happy to see rural and urban communities partnering together.
"Southern Virginia, Northern Virginia working together to make a better Virginia, " said Owens.
He hopes this will encourage other companies to bring new jobs, new industries and new hope for the southern Virginia economy.
"It's a signal to the rest of the state and the rest of the nation - and the world - that we're open for business. We want to do business here. We want businesses to come and give us an opportunity, give us a look, " Owens said.
The plant was also made possible thanks to NOVI Energy out of Michigan that partnered with NOVEC on this project.