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December 22, 2011

North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project Files for CPG – Joint Venture Agreement Announced

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 4:31 pm

Lead developer Adam Winstanley of Winstanley Enterprises announced today that the company has entered into a joint venture agreement with Weston Solutions, Inc. (WESTON®) of Concord, N.H. and West Chester, PA for the development of a 25-35 megawatt woodchip-burning electric generating plant in the North Springfield Industrial Park. The companies filed a petition earlier today for a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board for the project, which is known as the North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project (NSSEP). The project has been in the planning stages for several years.

First announced in 2009, the NSSEP is expected to create more than 600 jobs during its 18 month construction period, 400 of which will be in Windsor and Windham counties. After the plant is commissioned in 2014, it will contribute to some 160 ongoing jobs in Vermont, with a payroll of nearly $9 million annually. State tax revenues are estimated at approximately $4 million during construction and approximately $3 million per year from 2014 on. Approximately $15 million is expected in annual wood purchases from local foresters, roughly two-thirds of which would to come from Vermont sources, and the town of Springfield expects approximately $2 million in net annual increases to its budgeted revenues.

A key element of this project that separates it from virtually all other commercial scale renewable energy projects in Vermont is NSSEP’s plan to utilize the plant’s thermal waste to provide low cost heat to the North Springfield Industrial Park tenants though a “thermal loop.” In keeping with Winstanley Enterprises’ long-term strategic commitment to Vermont, NSSEP intends to provide below-market heat to users in the park to retain current tenants and to promote additional development.

“Adam Winstanley and his family have done everything right in working with local officials to bring this project from concept to permitting,” said Bob Flint, Executive Director of the Springfield Regional Development Corporation. “The NSSEP provides both a renewable energy resource and the commercial benefits of a unique thermal energy loop that will attract new industries to the park, making it a hub of economic activity in an area that badly needs a shot of adrenaline.”

Winstanley Enterprises is a family-owned company with headquarters in Concord, MA. It has a long and respected track record throughout New England for renovating vacant and underutilized properties. Its developments in Vermont include projects in both Brattleboro and Springfield.

In WESTON Winstanley has a partner who shares its commitment to working closely with local officials on projects that are not only economically viable and ecologically sustainable, but also meet the best interests of the community. For more than 50 years, WESTON has worked nationally and globally on a broad range of sustainable projects, from redeveloping contaminated properties to developing community-scaled renewable/clean energy projects. Among its projects are a coal-to-biomass fuel boiler conversion in Michigan and photovoltaic power systems for the city of Newark, N.J., and on a Superfund site in southwestern Massachusetts.

“WESTON seeks actively to engage community stakeholders throughout the development process to gain their input and advice; and just as importantly, we look to become an active and positive member of the community,” said Kathleen McGinty, WESTON senior vice president and managing director for strategic growth. “Adam Winstanley and his team are good partners for us because they live these values as well. We are impressed by their two years of work in and with community residents and leaders, and we are thrilled to join an effort that delivers solid economic and environmental benefits.”

“Today’s CPG announcement is the culmination of a lot of people’s hard work,” Winstanley said. “I am convinced that this project, which will bring clean power and green jobs to the Springfield area, will be a real boon to the economy in this region and a real asset to Springfield, Windsor County and the state of Vermont. This project makes sense for all of the right reasons, and we are pleased with the support we have gotten from the Springfield community.”

The project will take approximately a year and a half to construct after permits are obtained. It is expected that the plant would be commissioned in the middle or last half of 2014.

December 16, 2011

Health Care Forum on 1/9 in Chester

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:30 am

*Briefings on Pending Federal and State Health Care Changes and What Employers and Employees Need to Know*

Associated Industries of Vermont, with the support of several state and regional business organizations, will host a series of special briefings to help Vermont employers learn about how the state’s new health care laws will impact your insurance choices in the coming years, and what you can do to weigh in on these changes and the choices being made for the state. The briefings will focus on the state’s implementation of federal reforms and look to the intended implementation of single payer healthcare. Presentations will be made by insurance reform experts Susan Gretkowski and Heidi Tringe of MacLean Meehan and Rice, LLC.

The meeting in this region will be on January 9th in Chester at the Newsbank Conference Center from 9:00 am to 11:30 am (8:30 registration) Co-Sponsored by Springfield Regional Development Corporation.

*Registration:* Contact William Driscoll of AIV at (802) 223-3441 or*info@aivt.org* at least one business day in advance of the briefing you would like to attend to register and ensure seating, and for any additional information or directions (early registration is encouraged). Registration is $15 and includes refreshments and materials.

December 1, 2011

Workshop on Business Succession and Employee Ownership Coming to Bellows Falls on December 12th

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 1:33 pm

The Vermont Employee Ownership Center (VEOC) is offering a free workshop entitled “Selling to the Employees: Employee Ownership as a Path for Business Succession” on December 12th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm in the offices of one of Vermont’s newest employee-owned businesses, Sonnax Industries in Bellows Falls, Vermont.

The workshop will provide a brief overview of ownership succession options, and will focus on the pros and cons of different forms of employee ownership and the key financial and organizational benefits of this approach.

Presenters include Tommy Harmon, President and CEO of Sonnax, who will share the story of how the company became 100% employee-owned, Bill Kidder, Eastern Region Manager and Vice President for Corporate Banking at Merchants Bank, who will discuss financing for an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, and Don Jamison, Program Director of the VEOC.

The event is co-sponsored by the Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, and the Springfield Regional Development Corporation. Refreshments will be served. There is no registration fee, but advance registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit www.veoc.org or call 802-321-8362.