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|The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Dominion’s GreenTech Incubator.|
The Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator will help lead the way to a sustainable energy future and create jobs, Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion, said at the center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“This work is very important to Dominion,” said Farrell. “Finding better energy alternatives is not an option for us. It is a priority. If a new technology has potential, it has Dominion’s interest. If we can marry new technologies for energy efficiency and generation to job creation, we will have achieved something important.”
The Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator will provide assistance with research, financial services, business planning and other issues as well as office space for start-up companies. As the companies grow, they are expected to move to nearby locations, boosting the local economy.
Founding members of the new incubator are Hanover County, Virginia, the Town of Ashland, Dominion and the Virginia Biosciences Development Center (VBDC) of Richmond, Virginia, which will manage the GreenTech incubator. The VBDC, which manages the Virginia Bio-Technology Research Park’s business incubator in downtown Richmond, has helped launch 68 companies in its 13 years of existence. Forty-one of those companies have successfully left the center, including three whose stock is now traded publicly.
The GreenTech incubator will follow Governor. Tim Kaine’s “Renew Virginia” program and is expected to contribute to Governor-elect Bob McDonnell’s promise to create new companies and jobs early in the incoming administration.
A national network of such centers — the National Alliance of Clean Energy Business Incubators — exists today. It was started in 2000 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and is an alliance of leading business incubators dedicated to providing business and financial services tailored to the needs of the clean energy community. The Virginia Clean Energy Business Incubator in South Boston is a member of the alliance.
Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation, 1.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas and oil reserves, 14,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,000 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 975 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 12 states.