RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC),
in a 2-1 decision, has approved an application to construct and operate a 50-megawatt
biomass electric generating facility in Halifax County, Virginia. The power plant
will be located just outside of South Boston and will burn wood byproducts to generate
The applicant, South Boston Energy, LLC, intends to sell the electricity produced
by the plant to Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC), its parent company.
NOVEC will also be involved in the design, construction and operation of the facility.
In the order granting approval, Commissioners Judith Williams Jagdmann and Mark
C. Christie stated, “Our path to reaching this result...has been made particularly
arduous by the numerous deficiencies in NOVEC’s case apparent in this proceeding.”
The Commission said, “Ultimately, however, our obligation herein is to apply the
relevant Virginia statutes to the case before us...We find that based on the specific
facts of this case taken as a whole, and only with...numerous additional requirements...
the application satisfies the statutory standards.”
The Commission conditioned its approval on several requirements, including a $180
million cost cap, a mandate for NOVEC to develop an integrated resource plan, and
directives for subsequent SCC review of additional actions related to this facility.
In a dissenting opinion, Commissioner James C. Dimitri stated, “The record shows
that NOVEC has failed to undertake the evaluation and due diligence required for
such a significant economic decision,” and concluded that, based upon the record,
the application did not meet statutory requirements for approval.
The case is continued pending further order of the SCC regarding the various requirements
set forth in the Commission’s order on the application.
Case Number PUE-2010-00126
View Order on Application