Bennington Banner: Beaver Wood Energy cites opposition as cause for delay

Mar 11, 2011 No Comments by

Reposted here from the Bennington Banner.

POWNAL – Beaver Wood Energy, LLC, has announced that it will delay production on its proposed biomass power plant at the former Green Mountain Race Track for one year, while it will move forward with a sister project in Fair Haven.

“Primarily that’s a result of the market in the state right now,” said Thomas Emero, Beaver Wood managing director of development and operations.


Based on conversations he’s had with state officials, the state’s power needs only support one large-scale new biomass project. The second reason relates to public support, he said.


Fair Haven, by all accounts, has welcomed the idea of a 29.5 megawatt biomass and integrated wood pellet manufacturing facility, he said. However, Pownal and nearby Williamstown, Mass., have been the center for citizen opposition groups.


“We don’t think the majority of residents in Pownal are unreceptive, we just think the people of Fair Haven are very proactive and supportive, while the people in Pownal have been barraged with outside interest,” Emero said.


Select Board member Stephen Kauppi, who has been critical of the project, said he was pleased with the move.


“It’ll give the people some breathing room,” he said. “I think (Beaver Wood) has to prove themselves a lot more before it can happen here. Maybe something more interesting will come about in the process.”


Emero said $2 million has been spent in both Pownal and Fair Haven on permitting. Much of the Pownal work should be good for at least a year, he said, then the company will reevaluate its plans there.



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