VEDA approves loans for hydroelectric, other projects
STAFF REPORT | July 17,2013
The Vermont Economic Development Authority approved $9.4 million in financing for several projects around the state, including a hydroelectric facility in Bennington and a manufacturing expansion in Derby.
Total cost of the projects is $19 million.
VEDA approved a $683,278 Commercial Energy Program loan for Carbon Zero LLC and AOE Inc., in North Bennington.
The loans will partially fund a $1.7 million project to reopen a 375 kilowatt hydroelectric facility at the former Vermont Tissue Paper Mill on the Waloomsac River in Bennington.
Carbon Zero, its affiliate AOE, and owners Bill and Maria Scully, purchased the property several years ago and are redeveloping the dam after cleaning up the site under the Vermont Brownfield Revitalization Fund.
When completed, two new hydroelectric turbine-generators, totaling 375 kilowatt hours, are expected to generate 1.45 million kwh of renewable power in a new powerhouse adjacent to the mill.
The project also includes repair of the existing facility and installation of equipment to monitor and control the dam and power production. The output of the rebuilt hydroelectric station will be connected to the Green Mountain Power network.
The power generated will be used by a net metering group that includes, at least initially, Bill and Maria Scully’s home and affiliated companies, Powers Market and Pangaea Restaurant, the Town of Bennington, the Village of North Bennington and Catamount Glass.
The power produced will be sufficient to power 211 average homes and will help avoid the release of 658 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
Also receiving financing:
WEV USA LLC and Louis Garneau USA Inc., Derby — A loan of $1.5 million was approved as part of an $8 million manufacturing expansion.
WEV USA will build a 60,000-square-foot administration, production, and distribution facility on a 17-acre parcel on Route 5 for lease to Louis Garneau USA Inc.
Since 1989, Louis Garneau has operated out of leased space in Derby, manufacturing and distributing a line of cycling equipment and accessories for professional and amateur cyclists. Louis Garneau USA is the affiliate of the Canadian firm, Louis Garneau Sports.
The Louis Garneau group and affiliates has more than 425 employees with sales in 40 countries. Within three years of the Derby expansion, Louis Garneau expects to increase employment at the new plant from the current 90 jobs to 120.
People’s United Bank is also providing financing for the project.
Lyndon Institute, Lyndon — VEDA approved the reissuance of $4.4 million in tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds to Lyndon Institute.
The bond reissuance will reduce and fix for seven years the interest rate on bonds originally approved by VEDA in 2006 to help the school construct a 26-room dormitory.
The Union Bank is trustee for the bond, and the Community National and Passumpsic Savings Banks also are participating in the bond reissuance.
Financing of $2.6 million to farmers through the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corp.; and Small Business Loan Program financing of $200,000 to assist growing small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing.