ABB reinvests in South Boston, expands transformer facility

 In 2008, the local Industrial Development Authority of Halifax County, along with state money, funded the expansion of ABB’s 90,000 square foot factory in South Boston.

Today, ABB is using this expanded area of the factory to build transformers that will support a new local business in Halifax County.

ABB reinvests in South Boston, builds transformers for new local business


ABB has won an order from the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC), and its development partner, NOVI Energy, for two small power transformers. These transformers are a critical component for a unique green application that will supply power to the local market.

NOVI Energy is the project developer for the NOVEC Energy Production, Halifax County Biomass facility, a 49.9 megawatt (gross) woody biomass-fueled, electric generation project to be constructed on a 104-acre site in South Boston.

The project will obtain all its fuel needs from the local forest products industry as waste wood from regional timbering operations and manufacturing at mills. Construction is under way, and the plant is projected to be in operation by mid-2013.

The transformers will be used to step up the voltage to run the NOVEC Energy Production, Halifax County Biomass power plant. These are the largest transformers ever supplied by the ABB South Boston factory to be used in the local community.

“ABB has had a long-term presence in Virginia and has greatly contributed in many ways to the South Boston community,” said Fred Mistal, consultant to NOVEC Energy Production. “So it is a privilege to partner with ABB in setting up this unique, green application known as the NOVEC Energy Production, Halifax County Biomass plant. ABB is a world-class provider of transformers, but they are also a local supplier wanting to re-invest in this community.”

NOVEC Energy Production, Halifax County Biomass has the capacity to process as much as 600,000 tons of waste wood annually into renewable electric energy. An independent fuel study was completed, with the results indicating an abundance of waste wood available within a 75-mile radius of the facility from both regional logging operations and manufacturing facilities associated with the forest products industry.

Power produced at the NOVEC Energy Production, Halifax County Biomass plant will enter the regional transmission system at the local Dominion Virginia Power substation or nearby transmission to help serve the energy requirements of the customer-owners of NOVEC.

“When I learned about this project, I knew I had to support the community with a high quality ABB transformer, especially since it’s going to be installed behind my house,” said Brian Raney, ABB EPC market manager.