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South Boston Energy hosts ribbon cutting at fuel yard

Representatives from NOVI, NOVEC and Fagan construction gathered for a ribbon cutting Tuesday afternoon at the South Boston Energy Center fuel yard on Plywood Trail.

The yard has been under construction for the past 16 months, and construction is expected to be complete in two more months, according to South Boston Energy Project Procurement Manager Mike Davis. 

Davis anticipates 26 employees will work on the fuel yard when it is complete. Fagan Construction is the contractor for the project.

 According to Davis, wood from local logging operations will be brought to the fuel yard for use as fuel at the South Boston Energy biomass plant.

“This is the fuel the plant will consume to produce the power. Rather than having coal or natural gas, we use wood fuel from our local forestry work that happens here. It’s a residue from the logging operations that are going currently in the county and surrounding areas, and we use that to fuel the boiler, and that’s what we make the power with,” he said. 

Novec Consultant Fred Mistal said the wood chips used will be no more than three inches in size, and wood will be burned 12 to 16 hours, six days a week. Mistal expects 7 to 12 percent of the ash to be waste product, which will be trucked off sight or used as fertilizer.

Davis expressed his excitement about the fuel yard. 

“We are excited to get started, and I know the logging community is very excited to have another place to bring their material,” Davis said.

A grand opening will be held for the fuel yard later this year when it is fully operational.