Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator to Grow Clean Technology Businesses & Jobs in Central Virginia
The Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator, a center to assist new businesses focused on energy efficiency and other clean and green technologies, is scheduled to open early next year in Ashland, Va., with financial support from Dominion, one of the nation's largest producers of energy.
Modeled after other successful technology incubators, 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.
In addition to Dominion, founding members of the new incubator include Hanover County, Va., the Town of Ashland and the Virginia Biosciences Development Center (VBDC) of Richmond, Va., which will manage the GreenTech incubator. The creation of the incubator was announced at a meeting today of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors.
"Dominion is excited to have a role in encouraging the growth of the clean and green technology movement in Virginia," said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president-Alternative Energy Solutions for Dominion. "It will take creative minds to find new, clean technologies that will help our state and nation become more energy efficient. Those minds now will have a place in Central Virginia to test their ideas, get assistance and be launched toward success."
The VBDC-managed Virginia Bio-Technology Research Park in downtown Richmond has helped start 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 Virginia Bio-Technology Research Park has developed a nationally recognized incubator program that employs all of the components normally recognized as necessary to successfully incubate technology-based companies under the direction of David R. Lohr, chairman of the National Business Incubation Association," said Robert T. Skunda, president and chief executive officer of the bio-technology research park. Skunda will be the chairman, president and corporate secretary of the Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator. "We will be exporting this program to Hanover County and the new incubator in partnership with Dominion, and see the potential for significant success in growing the number of companies engaged in 'green and clean' technology innovation in the Greater Richmond area."
"Creating new jobs and companies in Hanover County through a business incubator has been part of the county's economic development strategic plan for some time," said Rhu C. Harris, Hanover County administrator. "The opportunity for the county and the Town of Ashland to partner with Dominion and the Virginia Bio-Technology Research Park to create jobs in the green technology areas is exciting and one we are confident will produce excellent results over the long term."
The GreenTech incubator will follow Gov. Tim Kaine's "Renew Virginia" program and is expected to contribute to Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell's promise to create new companies and jobs early in the incoming administration. It also complements the nation's strategy to create 5 million "green" jobs and fund a national network of business incubators, Skunda said.
The national network -- 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. The alliance Web site is at www.cleanenergyalliance.com.
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. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com
The Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator will be announced officially at the Hanover County Board of Supervisors meeting today at 2:15 p.m.
The incubator will be housed at Presidential I business park in Ashland. A ribbon-cutting event is being scheduled for mid-December. Look for more information in early December.