Dr. H. Henning Krämer
Governor Gilmore Announces $7.5 Million Investment in Northampton County
-- Trade mission leads to proVENTO U.S. headquarters and six windtowers on the Eastern Shore - -
Koblenz, Germany - Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that proVENTO International will locate its U.S. headquarters in the Cape Charles Sustainable Technology Park in Northampton County. Today, during Governor Gilmore's trade mission to Europe, he and top proVENTO executives met in Koblenz, Germany, to finalize this deal. proVENTO, based in Koblenz, will invest $7.5 million in a U.S. headquarters facility and six 1.3-megawatt windtowers. This project will create 25 new jobs in Cape Charles. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Eastern Shore of Virginia Economic Development Commission, Northampton County, and the Town of Cape Charles assisted proVENTO with its decision.
"I am very pleased to welcome proVENTO to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The potential benefits that this company has to offer are tremendous," said Governor Gilmore. "The six windtowers that proVENTO will place on Virginia's Eastern Shore will create enough energy to supply more than 3,000 homes. Wind energy offers enormous potential, and this is especially exciting in light of growing energy demands across the United States."
The wind farm is one of the first wind projects to be realized in Virginia. Located in the matching environment of the Sustainable Technology Park, it is intended to be a wind energy showcase, and the company wants it to be an introduction to a USA of modern wind technology. Further projects in Virginia and other states are planned.
proVENTO, founded 1997 in Germany, develops and markets wind farms which sell the energy to public utilities. Being highly successful in Germany, the company now targets international markets. Projects in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland, Greece and Ireland are in line, and the company is in talks with Portugal, Slovakia and Ghana. Great emphasis is taken on the development of innovative solutions for the use of renewable energy worldwide.
"The key element in choosing Virginia as the headquarters of proVENTO America, Inc. is that the business conditions are excellent," said Rudolf Schmitz, Chief Executive Officer of proVENTO. "Besides the strategic advantage to be able to communicate closer with the company in Germany because of less time difference, we appreciate the fact that Virginia's workforce is highly trained. We look forward to working together with James Madison University on new projects. Since we received great support by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the administration right from the beginning, it was simple getting our project started."
Eco-industrial parks are designed to maximize efficient use of energy and resources while eliminating waste and pollution. The Cape Charles eco-industrial facility is developed and managed by the Sustainable Technology Park Authority, which was created by Northampton County and the Town of Cape Charles. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Virginia Coastal Program, USDA Rural Development, U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Virginia Department of Transportation and Northampton County funded the construction of the park. Since 1990, those agencies have provided more than $8 million in grants for sustainable and related projects in Northampton County. Governor Gilmore approved the first Governor's Opportunity Fund for the Eastern Shore in the amount of $170,000 when Energy Recovery (now Hauge Technologies) located in the park in 1999.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome proVENTO to Cape Charles," said Mayor Alex Parry. "proVENTO's decision is a key milestone in establishing Northampton as a showcase for state-of-the-art renewable energy companies," added Felton Sessoms, Chairman of the Northampton County Board of Supervisors.
"In Virginia, we strive to find innovative solutions to business hurdles. As energy is an essential component to doing business, it is crucial that we look into the future to guarantee an environmentally-friendly and continuous supply of energy," said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "The addition of proVENTO will diversify our energy sector and further confirm the Commonwealth's pro-business climate."