Plans for a 2.2-megawatt biomass electric plant are inching forward

Plans for a 2.2-megawatt biomass electric plant are inching forward. Vermont Renewable Gas (VRG) has filed for a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Utilities Commission to build the $10 million energy facility in the St. Johnsbury/Lyndon Industrial Park. According to VRG manager Evan Dell’Olio, the proposed facility would convert low-grade wood chips into methane, fueling three on-site generators to create electric power. Dell’Olio expects the project to go before the Public Utilities Commission by mid-February.  Dell’Olio said that the proposed facility would (1) Bolster the Northeast Kingdom’s forestry and agricultural industries through the purchase of up to 1,800 truckloads of locally harvested wood fiber each year, (2) Create up to 12 “well paying” operations jobs and (3) Generate new property tax revenue. VRG anticipates a local economic impact in the range of $1.4 million in the first year, increasing over time. He said that beyond the economic benefits, the project’s location was ideal. Dell’Olio said the project would have minimal visual, environmental, and traffic impacts. If the Certificate of Public Good is approved and other state and local permissions are granted, VRG-Lyndon could be completed and operational by the end of the year.