Biomass, greenhouse project promises 300 jobs
By Lucia Suarez
Staff Writer | February 26,2013
FAIR HAVEN – An agreement between the developer of a proposed biomass and pellet manufacturing facility and a local hydroponic vegetable producer promises to bring more than 300 jobs to Rutland County.
Beaver Wood Energy and Vermont Hydroponics announced today they will be adding a 10-acre greenhouse complex and wholesale Grower's Hub warehouse adjacent to the proposed Fair Haven Biomass Energy Center.
Tom Emero, a principal with Beaver Wood, said the agreement has been in discussion on and off for more than a year before coming into fruition several weeks ago.
“We've got a whole other component (now),” he said. “The power plant has tremendous efficiency. With the greenhouses we gain additional efficiency.”
Emero said the greenhouses and the warehouse will use recycled water and heat from the biomass plant. This will allow them to have year-round growing.
The food grown in the greenhouses along with food from local farmers will be sold and distributed throughout New England from the Grower's Hub.
“It is a way to utilize the made in Vermont moniker,” Emero said. “It will be a distribution point.”
According to Emero, the 300 permanent jobs created by the project include 25 jobs at the biomass plant, 25 jobs at the pellet manufacturing facility, 100 jobs at the greenhouses and another 150 jobs in the forest industry.
He said they are working on obtaining the permits before refiling with the Vermont Public Service Board in the Section 248 process for the biomass facility. The entire project is expected to cost more than $260 million.