Proposed Green Power Plant Draws Strong Support

from Richmond-Times Dispatch A proposed biomass-burning power plant drew strong backing from officials and residents from economically distressed Southside Virginia speaking before the Virginia State Corporation Commission today.  "This will be a great opportunity" for Halifax County, said Del. James E. Edmunds II, R-South Boston.

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative wants to build a 49.95-megawatt “green” power plant at South Boston.

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Riverstone Energy Center Names Director

The Industrial Development Authority of Halifax County is pleased to announce that Dr. Douglas P. Corrigan has been named the Executive Director of the Riverstone Energy Center.

Corrigan has been praised by the search committee for his entrepreneurial spirit coupled with his experience in business development, technology commercialization and his extensive work in research and development across high-tech sectors.

“Doug has been in the trenches. He started his own biotechnology company and has experience in SBIR project management. He also brings to the table in-depth understanding of intellectual property protection, patents, trade-secrets, confidentially agreements and material transfer agreements,” said Ted Bennett, selection committee chair. “His combination of private sector business experience and his understanding of the academic and research fields made him the ideal candidate for the director’s position.”

“I am excited about this new chapter in my professional career and I am looking forward to working with the IDA and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and other partners as we develop this unique model,” Corrigan said. “My family and I have been very impressed with everyone that we’ve met and everything that we’ve seen in Halifax County. We are looking forward to becoming a part of this dynamic community with its eye on the future.”

“Doug brings with him an outstand list of credentials and experience. His work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center coupled with his work with SBIR and his publications helped him rise to the top of an outstanding list of candidates for the position,” said IDA Executive Director Mike Sexton. “Doug and Amy will be energetic additions to our community.”

“Currently, Virginia is the second largest importer of electricity in the nation, behind California. By working with businesses and entrepreneurs, we can look for solutions to our energy dependency and create new jobs in Halifax County,” Sexton said. “We have already announced the NOVI biomass power plant and the Dominion solar research project, that combined will provide nearly $200 million in new investment in the county and 50 new direct jobs. The NOVI project will also produce 100 jobs in the forestry industry to supply the power plant, thus expanding jobs in the agri-business sector, another focus of the IDA. These investments touch every man, woman and child in Halifax County by adding significant taxes to the County coffers at a time of financial strain and provide jobs across a wide variety of skill sets”

Located in South Boston, the Riverstone Energy Center (REC) and the Research and Development Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Efficiency provide innovative solution to businesses and entrepreneurs seeking resource to pursue consistent research, or who struggle to implement the innovations research has discovered. The REC is a 7,000 square foot facility that houses the Mechdyne Flex Virtual Reality System. “The Cave”, as the system has been coined, is a powerful 3D virtual reality environment that provides unparalleled modeling and simulation capabilities. Coupled with the Cisco 3000 Telepresence videoconference equipment that provides the ability to create the world you want and to share it without being limited by geographic boundaries. A meeting with customers or clients around the world becomes as real and as vibrant as a meeting around the table. Additionally, REC has a multimedia center capable of producing sophisticated audio, visual and print materials that will clients to tell their story to the government and industry.

The R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Efficiency is located in the Innovation Center – a 46,000 square foot, newly renovated, former tobacco warehouse located on the campus of, and operated by, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. The facility houses state-of-the art machining Center equipped with today’s most advanced and progressive manufacturing technology that produces products in both the 3-axis and 5-axis realm. Because advanced manufacturing techniques are the key to compete globally, a “Smart Factory” approach to demonstrate how emerging trends in industry and advanced technology can be adopted and mastered.

The Riverstone Energy Center will work with the Research and Development Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Efficiency collaboratively to proved a complete, unparalleled, competitively priced package of services for product and process development needs.

Corrigan is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees and a graduate of Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University where he earned his Doctorate degree.

Doug and his wife Amy have four children and are expecting another child in the fall.


Riverstone Technology Park New HQ for New Jersey Operation

An international training and research center selected Riverstone Technology Centre as its new home. AWFI, LLC is relocated their corporate headquarters and training center from New Jersey to Halifax County.

According to Mike Sexton, Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Halifax County Executive Director, “This project is a unique partnership between the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), University of Virginia, Riverstone Energy Center, the IDA, the private sector and others and represents a significant advancement in training and establishing the region as a hub for new and emerging finishing technology.”

AWFI will run and operate the National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education (C-CARE) working with the Riverstone Energy Center. The purpose of C-CARE facility is to create a unique research, development and training environment for various industries that use woods, plastics and metals in their operations. In addition, a work-force training program is being developed in partnership with the SVHEC to provide coating and finishing certification programs for incumbent workers and new recruits. The goal is to establish a “one-stop-shop” that identifies and helps commercialize solutions in the surface engineering field as well as provide a high-quality workforce in related areas. “Surface engineering” is concerned with how wood, metal, composite and other surfaces can be coated, treated or otherwise finished to proved specific performance, appearance and/or sustainability characteristics. Sexton explained that C-CARE and AWFI will leverage the modeling and simulation equipment in the Riverstone Energy Center and the investment being made at Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) to use a dedicated lab for research, development and workforce development.

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Riverstone Coatings project receives $1,052,000 in Tobacco Commission funding

from the News & Record - The National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education (C-CARE), on Tuesday, received $1,052,000 from the Southside Economic Development Committee of the Virginia Tobacco Commission at the Commission meeting in Richmond.

C-CARE will be a state-of-the-art center in Riverstone Technology Park to identify and help commercialize solutions in the surface engineering field as well as provide a high-quality workforce in related areas. “Surface engineering” is concerned with how wood, metal, composite and other surfaces can be coated, treated or otherwise finished to provide specific performance, appearance and/or sustainability characteristics.

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IDA Upbeat on Economic Projects

from The Gazette Virginian - The year 2010 will go down in the record books with nearly $200 million in new investments announced here, and one group in Halifax County is looking forward to the New Year and reflecting on the outgoing one.

Staff of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and specifically IDA Executive Director Mike Sexton are upbeat when reflecting on 2010 and even more upbeat on 2011.

In a year end review release, Sexton outlined some of the IDA’s accomplishments that have come to fruition over the past year.

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Alternative Energy Plant Set to Power Jobs in Halifax County

A proposed power plant slated for Halifax County, VA took another step forward when Virginia State Corporation Commission gave the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) and its development partner, NOVI Energy, interim authority to begin preliminary construction work on a 49.95 megawatt “green” biomass power plant. The plant will serve NOVEC’s customer-owners.

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Virginia's First Large Solar Array to be in Halifax County

Virginia Power to build solar generating plant


Dominion Virginia Power will use a $5 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission to help build a pilot photovoltaic power plant in Halifax County.

The Richmond-based utility will soon put out a request for proposals to design and build the 4-megawatt solar-power facility, said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president for alternative energy solutions for Dominion Resources Services Inc., a sister company to Dominion Virginia Power.

"It's photovoltaic," she said of the test project, and the power produced "will go straight into the [electrical] grid."

Photovoltaic systems produce electric current directly from sunlight.

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Grand Springs Natural Spring Water Expand Services

grandspringsGrand Springs Natural Spring Water is expanding! Grand Springs is now offering a distributing program for their coffee service products and their water products in the five gallon bottles and the small pack bottles to local business and to retail outlets in the Halifax County area. Two new jobs have been created in Halifax County with the potential for a third. “This is another great story of the success of small businesses in Halifax County, “according to Mike Sexton, Executive Director of the IDA of Halifax County.

The natural springs that feed Grand Springs have been a source of refreshment for centuries. Grand Springs Water was voted the best tasting water in the world in 2008 and 2009 at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition.

Grand Springs Natural Spring Water was selected as the sole provider of bottled water for the House of Representatives Food Services in Washington, D. C. The bottled water supplied to the House is contained in compostable bottles made of corn and replaces water that was in petroleum-based bottles.

Grand Springs offers a private labeling service to businesses and organizations that wish to promote or advertise its products under their own name. For more information please contact Grand Springs 2140 Mount Carmel Road Alton, VA 24520 (434) 753-2515, You can also follow Grand Springs on facebook and twitter and see their video on YouTube or learn more by visiting their website at